Canadian Forest Service Publications

Predicting the date of leaf emergence for sugar maple across its native range. 2000. Raulier, F.; Bernier, P.Y. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 30: 1429-1435.

Year: 2000

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 20491

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Mark record


A combined winter chilling and spring warming model is presented for predicting the date for the onset of foliation of sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) trees. The model is calibrated using both local data obtained in two sugar maple stands during two consecutive years with contrasting foliation dates and data obtained from the literature and chosen to span the full range of sugar maple distribution. Despite the disparity of the data used, more than 84% of the variation for the observed foliation date is explained by the model. Forty-one days separate the earliest and the latest foliation dates, and on average, the predicted date is within an interval of ±1.5 days of the observed date. Unusual events like exceptionally cool or warm springs are also well represented by the model. The counts for chilling days and degree-days are both started on December 1, but choosing any other date between November 1 and April 1 would yield nearly as good a fit to the foliation data. Temperature thresholds for chilling days and degree-days are both set at 10°C. Although this temperature gives the best fit to the foliation data, any temperature down to about 3°C would give good results as long as both threshold temperatures are the same.