I present the results on the performance of white spruce seedlings in relation to environmental conditions under 40- to 80-year-old aspen and in clearcuts within the boreal forest in northeastern British Columbia. This report outlines the feasibility of planting white spruce under aspen and gives advice for successfully implementing this alternative silvicultural system. Condition and growth of white spruce seedlings were assessed in the eld over seven growing seasons. Incidence of frost damage and chlorosis was lower for seedlings planted under aspen than in clearcuts. Initially, seedlings planted under aspen grew faster than seedlings planted in the clearcut, while the reverse was true for the later growing seasons. Results indicate that 40- to 80-year-old aspen stands may oer less stressful early establishment conditions for white spruce relative to clearcuts. Once established, seedlings in the clearcut outperform under-planted seedlings, likely in response to higher light levels. High survival rates and adequate growth performance suggest that planting white spruce under aspen canopies represents a viable means of establishing mixed aspen-white spruce forests. A number of recommendations for successful establishment of white spruce under aspen are provided.
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Updated July 24, 2015