Canadian Forest Service Publications

Factors affecting branch infection in aspen. 1961. Etheridge, D.E. Canadian Journal of Botany 39(4): 799-816.

Year: 1961

Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 30667

Language: English

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Abstract

Comparative studies have shown that branch infections are almost twice as frequent in aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) in mesic sites as in trees of similar ages in dry sites. This has been attributed to: (1) the proneness to infection of young dead branches, and (2) the greater mortality of young branches in mesic sites. No difference was found between the two sites with respect to the pattern of air temperature and relative humidity. The moisture content of dead branches was influenced to a minor extent by site, but only after considerable rain had fallen did branch moisture reach a level favorable for infection by fungi. Although several species of imperfect fungi and bacteria infected aspen branches from 4 years following mortality, wood-destroying fungi, namely Corticium polygonium Pers. and Polyporus adustus (Willd.) Fr., did not appear until 7 and 8 years after the death of branches. After 19 years, decay of Fomes igniarius (L. ex Fr.) Kickx. occurred in branches only as lateral extensions of heartwood infection. The feasibility of artificial pruning to reduce the risk of heart rot infection in young aspen stands is discussed.