An assessment of artificial and natural regeneration was carried out in 12 different locations in the montane Coastal Western Hemlock and subalpine Mountain Hemlock forests of Southwestern Bridge Columbia. The survival, growth, and stem form of eight different species, three stock types, and two planting seasons were compared to the growth, stocking, and stem form of naturally regenerated species. With the exception of western white pine, survival in both zones was generally excellent; the poorest-growing species was amabilis fir. Although Douglas-fir and western hemlock had very rapid growth rates in the montane CWH, they also displayed increasingly variable height growth and stem form defects, particularly at the upper elevational limits of the montane CWH. Noble fir performed well in both zones and had excellent stem form. By comparison, natural regeneration did not grow as rapidly as planted stock. Recruitment of most natural regeneration occurred within the first 6 years following harvesting, with patchy stocking and poor site occupancy due to clumpy stem distribution. The results are summarized with a cost analysis, by species, of the different planting options, and with a quantification of their silvicultural productivity, reliability, and feasibility. It is concluded that a mixed regeneration strategy is appropriate for these montane and subalpine forests, with natural regeneration of amabilis fir and western hemlock providing the basic silviculture resource, and planted species, such as noble fir and yellow-cedar, being used to increase the stand value and crop reliability.
FRDA Research Report 229 (2764 KB)
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Updated July 24, 2015