US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Connie Harrington

Connie Harrington

Emeritus Scientist
3625 93rd Ave. SW
United States

Phone: 360-753-7670
Contact Connie Harrington

Current Research

I’m currently exploring the responses of multiple species and multiple genotypes within species to their environment. Responses I’m evaluating include: phenology (timing of budburst and growth), as well as germination, flowering and plant growth. I develop models that can be used to predict plant responses to current or future climates. I also study the responses of many species to silvicultural practices, such as variable density thinning or species mixtures, or to factors such as bole or root damage, which may affect tree survival and growth.

Research Interests

  • How do plants respond to their environment?
  • What are the physiological triggers involved in starting or stopping plant growth?
  • How can we use that information to make better management decisions?

Past Research

I have developed models to predict the timing of budburst and tree growth during the year, as well as biology and management of Douglas-fir (valued for wood production), Oregon white oak (threatened system), alder and poplar (biomass production), and other tree species including cedars, pines, hemlock, and true firs. I have also looked at the effects of overstory stand conditions on tree growth and understory responses and the effects of a wide range of harvesting practices on short- and long-term site productivity.

Why This Research is Important

My research provides information to managers about species (and genotype) responses to environment and silvicultural practices through scientific publications describing the results from studies, general publications, and models to predict tree or stand responses. These models are important because it is not possible to collect information on the possible treatments or conditions that might occur on specific sites; thus, responses are modeled or predicted. The information I developed on Oregon white oak communities and packaged for small private landowners is important because most of the white oak is on private land, and there is a narrow biological time window to implement the treatments required for restoring these systems. Information I develop on plant responses to their environment should assist managers in making decisions on selecting species and genotypes for planting and in managing for specific objectives


  • University of Washington, Ph.D. Tree Physiology and Soils 1983
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, M.S. Silviculture 1975
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, B.A. Forest Botany 1973

Featured Publications & Products


Research Highlights


Climate of seed source affects susceptibility of Douglas-fir to foliage diseases

Douglas-fir at higher elevations and in more continental conditions in the Pacific Northwest could experience more foliar diseases as local envi ...


Oregon white oak regeneration enhanced through proper seed and seedling management

Planting Native Oak in the Pacific Northwest is the first comprehensive study of Oregon white oak planting technique. Without post-planting man ...


The Douglas-fir Seed-Source Movement Trial Sheds Light on Responses of Adaptive Traits to Changing Climates

This multi-site Forest Service study, encompassing a range of climate and soil conditions, is providing some very specific results on tree growt ...


Thinning to create gaps in forest canopy increases structural variability in conifer plantations

Two studies provide scientific basis for stand treatments designed to accelerate bio- and structural diversity in uniform conifer stands in west ...


Timing of flowering in Douglas-fir is determined by cool-season temperatures and genetic variation

New model predicts Douglas-fir flowering to within an average of 5 days of observed flowering date. Warmer temperatures in the future will likel ...


Tree Adaptation to Future Climates Involves Multiple Aspects

Genetic variation in growth phenology is a potentially important resource for mitigating some of the effects of climate change. Variation in dia ...


Last updated on : 02/11/2021