Rocky Mountain Research Station Publications

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Stand establishment and tending in the Inland Northwest


Graham, Russsell T.; Jain, Theresa B.; Cannon, Phil. 2005. Stand establishment and tending in the Inland Northwest. In: Harrinton, Constance A.; Schoenholtz, Stephen H., eds. Productivity of western forests: a forest products focus; 2004 September 20-23; Kamilche, WA. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-642. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. p. 47-78.

The moist, cold, and dry forests of the Inland Northwest occupy approximately 144 million acres. Ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, western white pine, western larch, and Douglas-fir are usually the preferred commercial species of the area. These early-seral species are relatively resistant to endemic levels of insects and diseases. They tend to grow rapidly and in general produce commercial products at a young age, especially using focused management actions packaged in silvicultural systems that are documented in silvicultural prescriptions. Even-aged systems (clearcut, seed-tree, and shelterwood) are the most appropriate for growing commercial products. In limited circumstances uneven-aged systems may be appropriate on sites where ponderosa pine is the late seral-species. Planting of improved, site adapted trees usually offer the greatest control over the amount, kind, and establishment of plantations. The control of competing vegetation during the site preparation and tending phases of the silvicultural system is usually extremely beneficial in enhancing tree growth and product development. The forest soils of the Inland West are generally deficient in nitrogen and, in some settings, also potassium deficient. The organic and mineral surface layers, often containing ash and loess soils, are vulnerable to compaction, displacement, or damage from fires (prescribed and wild) or mechanical forest operations. Therefore, soil and its conservation should be integral to all activities included in a silvicultural system. For production forestry, herbicides offer an alternative that can maintain the soil resource yet control competing vegetation and most often yield excellent results when properly applied. Cleanings, weedings and thinnings are integral parts of the silvicultural system. These and all parts of silvicultural systems designed to produce commercial products can be readily quantified, displayed, and visualized (spatially explicit) through time using the Forest Vegetation Simulator.

Keywords: forest products, silvicultural systems, regeneration, stand tending, fertilization, site preparation, forest management


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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Stand establishment and tending in the Inland Northwest
Electronic Publish Date: May 29, 2013
Last Update:
May 29, 2013

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