Canadian Forest Service Publications

Effects of initial planting density on tree and stand development of planted black spruce up to age 30. 2016. Groot, A.; Cortini, F. The Forestry Chronicle, 92(2): 200-210.

Year: 2016

Issued by: Canadian Wood Fibre Centre

Catalog ID: 36623

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.5558/tfc2016-039

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Mark record


The effect of initial planting density on tree andstand development was investigated for a 30year oldblack spruce plan tation in northeastern Ontario. Thedatacame from upland andtransitional peatland sites where black spruce (Picea mar iana (Mill.) B.S.P.) was planted at inter-tree spacings ranging between 1.25 and4.00 m. Amodified Chapman-Richards function was fit to observations of top height, total volume, basal area, quadratic mean diameter and cumulative stem mortality in relation to initial planting density, standage andsite quality. With the exception of mortality, the fitted mod els accounted for mostof the variation in the response variables. Total volume and basal areaincreased strongly with ini tial planting density, whereas quadratic mean diameter decreased. The results quantifythe tradeoffbetween stand vol umeand individual treesizetoage30,whichwill helpforest managers makebetterdecisions about initialplantingdensity for blackspruce plantations on similar sites.

Plain Language Summary

The selection of an initial planting density is an important forest management decision that has a strong influence on subsequent plantation development. This article examines the influence of initial planting density on the plantation development of black spruce, one of the most widely planted trees in Canada. The article analyses data from an experiment that has been regularly measured over a period of thirty years. The results quantify the increase in stand volume and basal area and the reduction in individual tree diameter with increasing initial stand density. This information will help forest managers make better decisions about initial planting density for black spruce.