Long-term success of stump sprout regeneration in baldcypressThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Baldcypress [Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.] is one of very few conifers that produces stump sprouts capable of becoming full-grown trees. Previous studies have addressed early survival of baldcypress stump sprouts but have not addressed the likelihood of sprouts becoming an important component of mature stands. We surveyed stands throughout south Louisiana, selectively harvested 10 to 41 years ago, to determine whether stump sprouts are an important mechanism of regeneration. At each site we inventoried stumps and measured stump height and diameter, presence and number of sprouts, sprout height, and water depth. We determined age and diameter growth rate for the largest sprout from each stump from increment cores. The majority of stumps did not have surviving sprouts. Sprouts that did survive were generally vigorous, but rot from stumps often appeared to be spreading into the bases of sprouts. Within the stands studied, baldcypress stump sprouts did not appear to be able to consistently produce viable regeneration sufficient for long-term establishment of well-stocked stands.