Jump to Main Content
Evaluating the influence of stem form and damage on individual-tree diameter increment and survival in the Acadian Region: implications for predicting future value of northern commercial hardwood stands
- Castle, Mark, Weiskittel, Aaron, Wagner, Robert, Ducey, Mark, Frank, Jereme, Pelletier, Gaetan
- Canadian journal of forest research 2018 v.48 no.9 pp. 1007-1019
- equations, hardwood, hardwood forests, models, prediction, risk, sawlogs, stem form, timber management, trees, Maine, New Brunswick
- Northern hardwood species display a variety of forms and defects that can reduce stem quality and complicate their timber management. However, for the most part, growth and yield models do not account for the influence of stem form and damage. This study determined the influence of stem form and damage on growth, survival, and projected future sawlog value among several northern commercial hardwood species. To accomplish this, hardwood trees on 112 permanent plots across three long-term research sites in Maine were assigned stem form and risk classes using a tree classification system developed in New Brunswick. A highly significant influence of stem form and risk on annualized individual-tree diameter increment and survival was found. Inclusion of these equations into a regional growth and yield model highlighted the importance of stem form and defects on long-term simulations as projected stand-level future value was significantly reduced by over 17%, on average (range of 13% to 28%), when compared with projections that did not include that tree-level information. The results highlight the importance of stem form and defects, as well as the need to account for them, in growth and yield applications that assess the forecasted value of commercially important hardwood stands.