Canadian Forest Service Publications
Partial cutting balsam fir stands on the Epaule River watershed. 1961. Hatcher, R.J., For. Res. Branch, Vol. 105. 29 p.
Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 15322
Availability: PDF (download)
Considerable interest was evinced by the pulp and paper industry in Quebec at the advent of partial cutting in mature and immature stands of balsam fir (Abies balsamea (L.) Mill.) by the Donnacona Paper Company in 1953 (Matte, 1952). After an analysis of test cuttings in 1951 and 1952 the Company began commercial partial or "selective" cutting operations in the 50-square-mile Epaule Block of the Jacques Cartier management unit. Modified by early experience, the cutting has continued up to 1960.
The Epaule Block is very accessible, lying on both sides of the Quebec-Chicoutimi highway about 35 miles from Quebec City and only 60 miles from the Company mill at Donnacona, Quebec.
The forest, 75 per cent fir by volume, had been cut over for pulpwood about 1925, and when the management plan for the Block was being revised in 1950 it was found that current yields of pulpwood were much higher than expected. Study of these second-growth stands showed that the average annual growth rate was 40 cubic feet per acre, and this, coupled with ease of access and proximity to mill, were sufficient justification for the adoption of more intensive management than had previously been contemplated for the area.
In 1954 a series of tenth-acre line plots was established by the Forestry Branch in stands which had been cut over in 1953 and 1954. The Company also clear cut an area to provide a comparison of regeneration with the partial cutting, and plots were established in this area in 1955.
In 1959 all plots were remeasured and this report presents the results after the first short critical period since logging. Post-cut development of mature stands has been disappointing owing to very high mortality. Results from immature stands and uneven-aged stands are more encouraging. Final analysis of yields from these stands should be delayed until the next remeasurement in 1964.