Contribution to Book
WD Shepperd, D Binkley, DL Bartos, TJ Stohlgren, and LG Eskew compilers
Sustaining Aspen in Western Landscapes: Symposium Proceedings
USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station
A reserve tree method (RTM) of harvesting was installed in six 70 to 75 year old aspen dominated stands to determine if retaining 10 to 15 dominant aspen per acre would decrease sucker density to facilitate restoration of a conifer component. A reserve shelterwood cut was applied to three additional stands to evaluate performance of white pine planted under 50% crown cover. After the first full growing season following harvest, 96% of the RTM harvested areas were stocked; sucker density averaged 27000 per acre versus 38.2 k per acre on a clearcut control, 41% greater. Basal diameter of dominant suckers averaged 0.45 inch, 28% greater than the control, and mean height was 60 inches, 33% greater. The control site had 3.1k stems per acre of associated commercial species versus 5.8 k on the RTM sites, an 87% difference. Four of the nine stands have been planted; first-year survival ranged from 75% to near 100%. The RTM shows promise for reducing sucker density, increasing their early growth, maintaining species diversity, and providing abundant regeneration of commercial species on a high proportion of the areas harvested. Early results indicate that both the RTM and shelterwood methods can facilitate restoring a component of native conifer species in these ecosystems.
Stone, DM et al. 2001. Restoration of aspen-dominated ecosystems in the Lake States. WD Shepperd et al (compilers). Sustaining Aspen in Western Landscapes: Symposium Proceedings. Proceedings RMRS-P-18. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fort Collins, CO.