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A 20 year analysis of incremental silviculture in mixed western hemlock Sitka spruce stands in the Coastal Western Hemlock biogeoclimatic zone

Author(s) or contact(s): N. Reynolds and L. de Montigny
Source: Forests, Lands, and NR Operations
Subject: Growth and Yield, Incremental Silviculture
Series: Extension Note
Other details:  Published 2015. Hardcopy is available.


Mixed second-growth stands of western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) (Hw) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) (Ss) comprise nearly half of the timber harvesting land base on Haida Gwaii, and are representative of other second-growth mesic sites within the Coastal Western Hemlock (CWH) biogeoclimatic zone in British Columbia. Intensive silviculture was strongly supported by government sponsored forestry programs in the 1980s and 1990s. To monitor the effectiveness of these programs, an experiment (EP1097) consisting of a series of juvenile spacing and fertilizer treatments was established on Graham Island, B.C. in 1991. While major policy change has led to a sharp decline in intensive silviculture in British Columbia and an end to juvenile spacing on Haida Gwaii since the late 1990s, spaced stands are currently prioritized for harvest on Moresby Island. Given the degree to which mid-term Hw/SS stands in the CWH are to be relied upon for harvesting, results from this long-term 1991 study can be used to guide local management practices. This report documents the growth and yield of intensive silviculture treatments in naturally regenerated mixed Hw/Ss stands after 19 years, and the future economic benefits of those treatments.

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Updated September 02, 2015