Influences of tree, stand, and site characteristics on the production of epicormic branches in southern bottomland hardwood forestsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Epicormic branches are adventitious twigs that develop from dormant buds found along the main bole of hardwood trees. These buds may be released at any time during the life of the tree in response to various types of stimuli. Epicormic branches cause defects in the underlying wood and may cause significant reductions in both log grade and subsequent lumber value. Species, stress, and sunlight have been proposed as the three major factors affecting production of epicormic branches, but no definitive research has been conducted to evaluate this hypothesis. This paper reports preliminary evaluations of the influences of several tree, stand, and site characteristics on production of epicormic branches in undisturbed stands of southern bottomland hardwoods. Tree characteristics evaluated include species, diameter class, and crown class; stand characteristics evaluated include stand density and site index. Each characteristic was examined individually and in combination with other characteristics to determine the level of influence on formation of epicormic branches.