The effects of mechanical and chemical site preparation on ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws.) and lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud.) performance, associated vegetation, and soil properties in southcentral Oregon eight years after planting Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bv73c265b

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  • The effects of six alternative site preparation treatments were compared at three different sites in southcentral Oregon. Treatments included a logged-only control, ripping, brushblading, disking, chemical, and chemical followed by disking. Subplots containing ponderosa pine bareroot (2+0) and containerized (1+0) and lodgepole pine containerized (1+0) seedlings were also included in the experiment. The study involved the remeasurement of the plots eight growing seasons after establishment. The treatments were evaluated based on changes in selected soil chemical and physical properties, the response of non-conifer vegetation, and the survival and growth of the planted pines. Soil samples were analyzed for total N, total S, total C, and extractable phosphorus. Bulk density was also determined for each sample. In general, the brushblade and chemical/disk treatments caused the greatest reduction in nutrient levels and the greatest increase in bulk density compared to the control arid other treatments. The greatest differences in the amount of non-conifer vegetation among site preparation treatments were observed at the low elevation site (East Aspen), which supported an established shrub community prior to treatment. Total aboveground biomass of shrubs was highest on the control plot. Ripping had the second highest shrub biomass, followed by the disk, brushblade, chemical, and chemical/disk treatments. Plant communities at the higher elevation sites (Swede Cabin and Camp Nine) were primarily composed of grass, sedge, and forb species with scattered shrubs. In general, the control and rip plots had the highest canopy coverage of herbaceous vegetation at these sites, followed by the brushblade, disk, chemical/disk, and chemical treatments. Pine survival was satisfactory for all treatments except the rip and control plots at East Aspen and Swede Cabin. Survival was low for all treatments at Camp Nine. The greatest differences in conifer height growth among site preparation treatments occurred at East Aspen. At this site, the chemical/disk and chemical treatments resulted in a substantial increase in height growth compared to the control. Disking, brushblading, and ripping also increased height growth, but to a lesser extent. All of the treatments except ripping were equally effective at Swede Cabin in increasing height growth compared to the control. At Camp Nine, the effect of treatments with respect to height growth was the same as that at East Aspen, although the magnitude of the differences was less. The results of this study indicate the importance of controlling competing vegetation in order to achieve maximum survival and early growth of planted pines in southcentral Oregon.
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