Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration      3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England 

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Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
Regeneration of
northern conifers:
a 60-year record
Bob Seymour
NESAF - March 26,
2014
Nashua, NH
SpF / Harvesting
No Harvest
• Top 5 Saplings
•
•
•
•
•
•
Balsam fir – 58%
Red spruce – 15%
Northern WC – 5%
Red maple – 5%
Paper birch – 4%
Top 5 Seedlings
•
•
•
•
•
Balsam fir – 41%
Northern WC – 17%
Red spruce – 13%
Red maple – 7%
Black spruce – 6%
79% Conifers
Harvest
• Top 5 Saplings
•
•
•
•
•
•
Balsam fir – 52%
Red spruce – 21%
Northern WC – 6%
Red maple – 5%
Paper birch – 3%
Top 5 Seedlings
•
•
•
•
•
Balsam fir – 38%
Red spruce – 16%
Northern WC – 14%
Red maple – 8%
Yellow birch – 3%
1
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
The “Bible”
• Excellent descriptive
account of how the
mature forests of
today came into being
• Extensive
observations made
during 1920s
• Crucial importance of
advance
regeneration
Westveld
1931
Optimum advance
growth (the “classic”
response pattern)
• Best growth
achieved by a 4foot tall advance
seedling
• Such a tree
averaged 36 years
old.
2
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
Nova Scotia guidelines
• Use “Extended Shelterwood” method
• Caveat on height class 4 for good sites,
hardwood-dominated stands.
Dense SF Stand in
stem exclusion –40
years after shelterwood
removal cutting,
Penobscot Expt Forest
C23
3
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
Excellent RS Crop
Trees – Age 40
3.9 million acres (47%) of spruce-fir
type lost since 1960 (FIA Data)
Period of
Peak CC
4
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
Typical postclearcut
regeneration
impact, ca. 1983
•
Note ideal Westveld-sized
advance saplings all flattened by
uncontrolled logging pattern
The sad legacy of clearcutting in the spruce-fir
region: large-scale forest type conversion
Clearcut 1988
Clearcut 1980
Productive spruce-fir stands in 1960
5
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
Spruce-fir Case Study – Maine’s
clearcutting era (1970-1995)
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
Duck Lake Strip BPL Management
Unit Strip Clearcuts ca. 1985
“Physicians bury their worst
mistakes, but those of
foresters can occupy the
landscape in public view for
decades.”
6
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
Former whole-tree landing ca. 1985
7
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
Duck Lake Strip BPL Management
Unit Strip Clearcuts ca. 1985 –
Residual Strips treated with
shelterwood establishment cutting
ca. 2004
Forest harvest detection time series (Legaard, Simons, Sader,
Harrison, Wilson; UMaine):
USGS
34-year time series of Landsat
satellite imagery acquired over
4.5 million acres (1.8 million ha)
in northwest Maine
8
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
Ongoing research and applications (Legaard, Simons UM)
1975 forest cover + 34-year harvest time series
Harvest trends by forest type
Forest Type Change, 1976-2004
Proportion of annual coniferous harvest area converted
to mixed / deciduous forest, 1975 - 2004:
* Harvested areas only
(light and heavy)
Period of Peak CC
9
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
Penobscot Experimental Forest
Unmanaged
regeneration
(1988 CC)
Managed
regeneration
(Extended
shelterwood,
OSR in 1972,
photos earlier)
What went wrong?
1. Dense natural stands often in stem exclusion;
advance regeneration absent or poorly
established
2. Advance regeneration present, but destroyed in
overstory removal harvest
3. Advance growth survived harvest, but died from
exposure (not established)
4. Advance growth survived exposure, but died from
suppression under weedy brush (aerial herbicide
saved these) – about a half-million acres treated
5. Regeneration successfully released, but fir
dominates spruce or is preferentially favored in
PCT
10
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
No Advance
Regen (true
clearcut) =
Intol HW
Uniform Shelterwood
Shelterwood
Variants
(Seymour 1992)
Irregular shelterwood
Not all land
was
clearcut:
Baxter SFMA
after
shelterwood
establishment
cut (fir
protected, then
removed ca.
1990)
11
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
Plantations?
• About 200,000 acres
Fir increasingly dominates SF Type
12
Resources‐Resilience‐Renewal‐Restoration 94th Annual Winter Meeting, New England Society of American Foresters March 25‐27, 2014
3/26/2014, Regeneration Panel
Typical young managed “spruce”(?)-fir
stand of today
• Pure fir: Highly vulnerable to SBW, but
easy to protect
Conclusions – are we…?
• We certainly know what to do; the
problem is finding the will and
technology to do it
• Before 1970, and since 2000, mostly a
good record, though fir is increasing
• 1975-1990, record was poor on most
large ownerships
• Will this “lost” area come back?
Doubtful
13

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