Crown size relationships for black willow in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial ValleyThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Growing space requirements derived from maximum and minimum crown sizes have been identified for many southern hardwood species. These requirements help managers assess stocking levels, schedule intermediate treatments, and even assist in determining planting densities. Throughout the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, black willow (Salix nigra Marsh.) stands are common along major rivers as single-species stands. Management of these stands is limited in part by the lack of information regarding crown size-stem density relationships. We developed equations to predict maximum crown sizes from open-grown black willow trees and minimum crown sizes from natural, even-aged black willow stands. This information is being utilized to construct stocking guides for thinning treatments and provide preliminary planting density guidelines for plantations based on a target diameter size. Our initial results show that a polynomial tree area equation predicted the maximum density data well; however, the data associated with the development of the maximum crown area equation (leading to the average minimum density line) were much more variable.