USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Research Topics Forest Management

Cone Fire Research
Variable Planting Densities - Effects of Seedling Growth and Competition Factors


There are various types to seedling stock that can be utilized for re-establishment planting. Two of the most common types for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) are 1 year-old container stock and 2 year-old bare-root stock. This research project hopes to help us better understand the differences between, and the impacts of, planting these two different types of seedling stock in this forest type during the initial years of growth.

Study Area

This study is being conducted in the Cone fire-salvaged portion of the Blacks Mountain Experimental Forest. The 10,300-acre BMEF was established in 1934. The forest of this area is generally of the inland ponderosa pine type. The fire regime of these forests generally is of the frequent, low-moderate severity type. (Click to see information about BMEF and BMERP)


Twenty 10th acre square plots, installed as ten 5th acre rectangular blocks were placed in the severely burned (salvaged) portion of BMEF (Refer to image diagram below). The 2 year-old bare root seedlings were planted on one half of each block, while the other half was planted with the 1 year-old container seedlings. A 6' x 6' spacing was designated for all plots. Five randomly selected blocks were planted in the Spring of 2004 while the remaining five blocks were planted in the Spring of 2005. Mortality surveys will be conducted for each of the first five years and increment and height growth measurements will be collected periodically into the future.

Effects Data


Initial surveys of mortality and growth revealed problems with confounding in the nursery stock. This study is being re-established with new stock in 2014. Feel free to contact Martin Ritchie if you have any questions about this project.

Last Modified: Sep 12, 2013 07:21:32 PM