Publication Details

Tree quality and value: results in northern conifer stands after 65 years of silviculture and harvest

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Granstrom, Maren ; Crandall, Mindy S.; Kenefic, Laura S.; Weiskittel, Aaron R.

Year Published

2022

Publication

Canadian Journal of Forest Research

Abstract

Despite the importance of financial outcomes to stand-level forest management decision-making, long-term assessments are rare. We compared the quality and value of mixed, northern conifer (Picea–Abies–Tsuga) stands inMaine, USA, treated with a range of silvicultural systems and exploitive cuttings for 65 years. Ten replicated treatments — single-tree selection and uniform shelterwood systems, commercial clearcutting, fixed and guiding diameter-limit cutting, and no cutting — were assessed for quality and value of standing and harvested trees. Selection systems resulted in good tree quality and high stand value, particularly when applied on a short cutting cycle, but small harvest volumes were not always commercially operable. Shelterwood system resulted in good tree quality, but changes in species values over time influenced financial outcomes. In contrast, commercial clearcutting and fixed diameter-limit cutting resulted in poor tree quality and low residual stand value after multiple harvests. Guiding diameter-limit cutting resulted in high stand value and is more appropriately characterized as a silvicultural system than exploitive harvesting when applied with harvest volume limits and seed tree retention. Overall, treatments focused on short-term financial gain led to degraded stand conditions, while those that sought to grow high-quality trees resulted in desirable outcomes over the long term.

Keywords

spruce–fir; shelterwood; selection cutting; exploitation; forest management

Citation

Granstrom, Maren; Crandall, Mindy S.; Kenefic, Laura S.; Weiskittel, Aaron R. 2022. Tree quality and value: results in northern conifer stands after 65 years of silviculture and harvest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 52: 1-14. https://doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2021-0279.

Last updated on: May 23, 2022