Logging damage to residual trees following commercial harvesting to different overstory retention levels in a mature hardwood stand in Tennessee

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  • Authors: Clatterbuck, Wayne K.
  • Publication Year: 2006
  • Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
  • Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-92. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 591-594

Abstract

Partial cutting in mature hardwood stands often causes physical damage to residual stems through felling and skidding resulting in a decline in bole quality and subsequent loss of tree value. This study assessed the logging damage to residual trees following commercial harvesting in a fully stocked, mature oak-hickory stand cut to three overstory basal area retention levels: 12.5, 25, and 50 percent. These treatments were replicated three times in north-facing, south-facing, and ridgetop blocks. The logging operation caused widespread damage to residual trees, with more than 76 percent of the trees experiencing some logging damage regardless of treatment and 45 percent of bole-damaged trees rated as severe damage that would ultimately decrease the future value of the tree. More tree damage occurred at the greater basal area retention levels. After 2 years, bole degrade associated with the formation of epicormic branches was much less compared to the bole damage caused by the physical abrasion from the harvesting operation. Potential damage to retention trees should be considered when evaluating silvicultural options where increasing value of retention trees is an objective.

  • Citation: Clatterbuck, Wayne K. 2006. Logging damage to residual trees following commercial harvesting to different overstory retention levels in a mature hardwood stand in Tennessee. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-92. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 591-594
  • Posted Date: June 17, 2006
  • Modified Date: August 22, 2006
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