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Catalog of Long Term Research Conducted by the Northeastern Research Station

Catalog #11

Individual Tree Deferment Cutting Practice - Monongahela National Forest and Fernow Experimental Forest
To demonstrate and evaluate individual tree response for different species and sites, and stand response including regeneration establishment and stand development.
Monongahala National Forest: Riffle Creek near Huttonsville WV, Shaver's Fork in Tucker County, Olsen Tower near Parsons WV, US219 near Red House (the latter three on Cheat Ranger District). 
Fernow Experimental Forest: 2 subcompartments: 1) along fish Trough Road and 2) Stonelick Canoe Run area.
Demonstration Area - no standard statistical design for this study. 10- to 15-acre cuts made on 4 areas on Monongahelia National Forest and on 2 areas on the Fernow Experimental Forest. 
6 areas of deferment cutting each to be evaluated as a case history. Also, initially 4 0.5-acre growth plots were established within each study area. Individual tree measurements will be recorded for each deferment tree at 5-year intervals until the final stand is harvested. Between 12 to 15 high quality, well-spaced deferment trees (about 20 feet squared per acre of residual basal area) will be left after cut.
Initially 100% stand inventory (all trees 5.0" d.b.h. and larger), 20 years after cut and 10 years thereafter. 
Deferment cut 6 areas - each is evaluated as a case history.
Stand inventory: of all trees >5.0" d.b.h. following Standard Operating Procedures at 20 years and 10 years thereafter.

During each inventory, a grade sample is taken (species, d.b.h. butt-log grade and merchantable-log height is recorded for each graded species).

Tree species are listed according to Fernow species coding

Measuring d.b.h. includes the use of diameter tape graduated to 0.01". Trees are measured to 0.01" at 4' above the wire using Fernow measuring stick and the measurement is rounded to nearest 0.1" for computer entry.

Total Height: distance from ground level to top of crown.

Potential Merchantable Height: estimated direct or at 99' (1.5 times measurement) determined based upon forking, crown break up to a potential and 8.0"d.b.h. estimate to nearest foot.

Clear Bole Length: to nearest foot using a telescopic measuring pole or relaskop at a distance of 66' from ground to first live branch that is at least 1.0' long.

Crown Width: measured in cardinal direction N-S and E-W using a hand compass and the width is measured to the nearest 0.5' and averaged.

Tree Density: each tree has a density point where a 10- and 40- factor prism.

Epicormic Branches: the number of branches is recorded for each of 4 8' log sections or 33' (allowing 1' for stump height). Epicormics are counted if the branch is living at minimum 1' in length.

Independent: tree species

Dependent: reproduction, growth, stand density

Reproduction Surveys: for a 0.001-acre and 1/100-acre plot. plots marked with a numbered mine check attached to an iron rod.

Deferment tree: permanently marked, species, d.b.h., crown class, butt-log grade, total height, tree density, epicormic branches recorded.

Growth Plots: 4 circular permanently-marked plots on each 0.5 acre (83.26' radius). 20 years after initial deferment cut, trees 3.0" d.b.h. will be permanently wired and measured on each growth plot for species, d.b.h., crown class, butt-log grade. Measurements will be made every 5 years thereafter until 50 years have passed. At that time, measurements will be made on a 10-year schedule.

Photos will be taken before and after logging, and at each 5-year entry period.

Growth Plot Variables recorded once (initially): species, total height, merchantable height, density, logging damage.
5-yrs: d.b.h. (at 2years), clear bole length, epicormic branches. 
10-yrs: butt-log grade, crown width, crown class.

Data are visually compared to previously collected data. Accuracy assessments are completed after each data-collection period. Permanent employee continually supervises temporary employees.
Raw: stand structure and grade, species, d.b.h., And number of stems available on DG. 
Species, d.b.h., And number of stems are in hardcopy. Data are downloaded to PCs for analyses.
Studies of Ecosystem Processes
Study plan. Clay Smith (Study # 4110-FS-NE-1103-99). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Parsons, WV.

Smith, H.C.; Lamson, N.I.; Miller, G.W. 1989. An aesthetic alternative to clearcutting. Journal of Forestry. 87(3):14-18.

Thomas Schuler,  USDA Forest Service,  P.O. Box 404, Parsons WV 26287. (304) 478-2000 ext. 110.
USDA Forest Service: Monongahela National Forest



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