, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 457-472

Twenty year site preparation effects on sub-boreal lodgepole pine performance

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We examined the effects of various mechanical site preparation methods and windrow burning on container-grown planted lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) survival and growth for 20 years after treatment at a sub-boreal site in north-central British Columbia, Canada. Survival was uniformly high (≥80%) regardless of treatment, indicating that site preparation was not necessary to establish pine on this site. Significant treatment effects on height, diameter, and stem volume were present at all assessment dates, but only the windrow burning treatment was associated with growth gains over the untreated control after two decades. Pine planted at the disk trench hinge were significantly larger than control pine only until year five. Of the mechanical treatments, only coarse mixing (by bedding plow) continued to have a significant effect on pine growth for as many as 9 years after treatment. Despite the disappearance of significant differences between mechanical treatments and the untreated control by year 20, the magnitude of stand volume increases suggests the potential for mechanical site preparation to have a beneficial effect on future timber supply. Repeated measures analysis confirmed that trends in early diameter growth differed between the untreated control and the windrow burning or coarse mixing treatments. These data are also potentially valuable for verifying growth and yield or carbon budgeting modelling tools.