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Planting Density

 

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Poplar density trial - EP1181 - click to enlarge

Poplar density trial - EP1181

Planting density (often referred to as "espacement") has large potential impacts on the amount, size, and value of timber harvested from managed forests and on biological and technical rotation lengths.  The growth and yield impacts of different planting density regimes is currently facilitated by growth prediction models that were developed or calibrated for use in British Columbia.  However, the available long-term database is limited and fragmented, and much of the long-term data have been obtained from sources outside of British Columbia.  There is currently a lack of quantitative information required to identify optimum plantation management regimes for achieving specific timber yield and product objectives.

Several long-term experimental projects (EP's) testing a variety of species and planting density regimes have been established by the BC Ministry of Forests, Research Branch throughout the province.  The earliest espacement trials were established in the early 1960's.  In the BC interior, a major research initiative was begun in the mid- 1980's. 

click to enlarge

EP964 Installation 8 (Fdi)
1000 sph, age 2

click to enlarge

EP964 Installation 8 (Fdi)
1000 sph, age 11

Experimental Projects - Coast

EP Title # Inst. Year Establ.
429 Spacing trials of Douglas-fir, western red cedar and grand fir in pure and mixed stands 1 1964
534 Spacing Trial of Douglas fir 1 1959
571 Trial of Tree Species and Initial Spacing on the West Coast of Vancouver Island 3 1962
1065.01 Pruning young Coastal Douglas-fir 1 1990
1130 Espacement Trials of Mixed Douglas-Fir and Western Red Cedar On Coastal Sites. 1 1992
1181 Hybrid Poplar Cooperative Spacing Trials 2 1994
1206 Espacement Trials of Coastal Species 8 1995

 

Experimental Projects - Interior

EP Title # Inst. Year Establ.
607 Ponderosa pine spacing trials. 3 1962 - 1963
962 A comprehensive study to determine the effects of initial espacement and subsequent thinning on the growth and yield of lodgepole pine plantations. 1 1987
964 Espacement trials in the BC Interior 22 1986 - 2000
1181 Hybrid Poplar Cooperative Spacing Trials 1 1995

 

Planting Density Publications

Armit, D. 1970. A planting trial with white spruce, Fort Babine. B.C. Ministry of Forests, Victoria. Research Note 50.

Illingworth, K. and M.B. Clark. 1966. Planting trials with ponderosa pine in British Columbia. B.C. Ministry of Forests, Victoria. Research Note 41.

Johnstone, W.D. and J.C. Pollack. 1990. The influence of espacement on the growth and development of a lodgepole pine plantation. Can. J. For. Res. 20: 1631-1639.

Omule, S.A.Y. 1988. Early growth of four species planted at three spacings on Vancouver Island. B.C. Ministry of Forests, Victoria. FRDA Report 009. (EP571)

Omule, S.A.Y. and G.J. Krumlik. 1987. Juvenile height growth of four species on four sites in the CWHb1 variant. B.C. Ministry of Forests, Victoria. FRDA Report 007.  (EP571)

Pollack, J.C., W. Johnstone, K.D. Coates, and P. LePage. 1992. The influence of initial espacement on the growth of a 32-year-old white spruce plantation. B.C. Ministry of Forests, Victoria. Research Note No. 111.

Pollack, J., F. van Thienen, and P. LePage. 1990. The influence of initial espacement on the growth of a 27-year-old Sitka spruce plantation. B.C. Ministry of Forests, Victoria. Research Note No. 104.

Thompson, C.F. 1974. Tenth year remeasurements of planting trials with ponderosa pine. B.C. Ministry of Forests, Victoria. Research Note 65.

Xie, C.Y., W.D. Johnstone, and C.C. Ying. 1995. Spacing and provenance effects on the performance of shore pine (Pinus contorta var. contorta): 20-year test results. Can. J. For. Res. 25: 567-576.

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Last Modified: 2010 June 01.  Ministry contact: Frank van Thienen
Webmaster: For.Prodres@gov.bc.ca

 

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