Thinning to improve growth and bole quality in an Inonotus hispidus-infected, red oak-sweetgum stand in the Mississippi Delta: sixth-year resultsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Thinning was applied to a 55-year-old red oak-sweetgum (Quercus spp.-Liquidambar styraciflua L.) stand in the Delta region of western Mississippi in 1997. Special emphasis was placed on removing all red oaks infected with Inonotus hispidus (Bull.) P. Karst, a canker decay fungus that causes serious degrade and cull. Little stand-level growth occurred during the first 6 years after thinning. Thinning significantly increased diameter growth of residual trees, especially among red oaks, but to date, the treatment has not significantly increased quadratic mean diameter. Thinning had no significant effect on the production of new epicormic branches on the butt logs of residual red oaks, but it greatly increased the number of epicormic branches on the butt logs of residual sweetgum trees. Increased numbers of epicormic branches on sweetgum sawtimber trees caused the degradation of many sweetgum logs from grade 2 to grade 3. These reductions increased the proportion of sweetgum volume in grade 3 logs. Because thinning did not increase the number of epicormic branches on red oak sawtimber, the proportion of volume in grade 1 logs increased, and the proportion of red oak volume in grade 3 logs decreased.