Canadian Forest Service Publications

Studies in forest pathology. XII. Decay of western hemlock in the Upper Columbia Region, British Columbia. 1954. Foster, R.E.; Craig, H.M.; Wallis, G.W. Canadian Journal of Botany 32(1): 145-171.

Year: 1954

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 20736

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1139/b54-014

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An investigation of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.) in the Upper Columbia region has shown that decay losses are excessive, amounting to 52 and 74% in terms of cubic and board foot computations respectively. The logs of 833 hemlock on 36 sample plots located in mature timber were analyzed in detail. Twenty-six decay-producing fungi have been isolated. Sixty-two per cent of the total decay was attributed to Echinodontium tinctorium Ell. & Ever. and 25% to Fomes pini (Thore) Lloyd. Considerable variation in the fungi responsible for decay was encountered intraregionally. Stand defect losses varied from 38 to 71%. Some of this variation could be predicted on the basis of the site index determinations of hemlock. Relative to the total incidence and importance of decay, Echinodontium tinctorium decreased and Fomes pini increased in significance with increasing site quality. Sporophores, scars, dead tops, large rotten branches, swollen knots, frost cracks, forked trees, and trunk infections of mistletoe were classed as indicators of significance in relation to hidden defect. Living trees, classed as Suspect or Residual depending on the presence or absence of one or more reliable indicators of defect, were found to differ appreciably in average defect. Within each of the preceding classes decay increased progressively with increasing diameter and decreasing site quality. Immature hemlock was found to be susceptible to appreciable decay and mature stands reached an advanced stage of deterioration at 250 years. Multiple correlation analyses between percentage of decay, site, age, and the relative percentage of Residual trees weighted by volume permitted an estimate of total stand defect within ± 7%.