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Dwarf Mistletoe Management Guidebook Table of Contents]

Free growing guidelines

The provincial damage criteria for dwarf mistletoes used to determine if a tree is free growing are:

  1. For all tree species,
    (a) any infected tree that has any infection on the bole is unacceptable
    (b) any infected tree that is 3 m tall or less and has any branch infection is unacceptable.

  2. For coastal areas with western hemlock,
    (a) any western hemlock situated 15 m distance or less from an infected, overstorey residual western hemlock is unacceptable
    (b) any infected tree greater than 3 m tall growing on a low or poor site is unacceptable.

    Note that infected western hemlock trees greater than 3 m tall on good and medium sites are acceptable only if they are more than 15 m distance from any infected, overstorey residual Hw.

  3. For interior areas with lodgepole pine, western larch, or Douglas-fir,
    (a) any tree more than 3 m tall and infected in the top one-half of the crown is unacceptable
    (b) any infected tree or susceptible tree situated 15 m distance or less from any infected, overstorey residual tree of the same tree species is unacceptable.

Free growing criteria and assessment

With respect to stands infested with dwarf mistletoe and the associated treatment of infected strata, the following procedures define the criteria for assessing and determining if free growing obligations have been met. If the parasite is absent from the strata then the prescription must explicitly state so.

Assessing strata managed for timber production

If a stratum has an approved prescription for treatment of dwarf mistletoe, and if dwarf mistletoe resulted in a non-free growing stand, then the district manager may choose to accept stocking levels of preferred or acceptable species below the minimum stocking standards, provided all approved prescribed operations intended to abate the risk of dwarf mistletoe were fully implemented.

If the approved prescribed operations in the above case were not conducted, or were conducted improperly, the approved free growing obligations, as well as the costs associated with achieving these obligations, will remain the responsibility of the licensee.

Assessing strata not treated for dwarf mistletoe due to other resource management objectives

If a stratum has an approved prescription which does not prescribe active treatment for dwarf mistletoe in a stratum due to other resource issues, and the presence of dwarf mistletoe results in the non-achievement of a free growing stand, then the district manager may choose to accept stocking levels of preferred or acceptable species below the minimum stocking standards.

If the approved prescribed operations for the above case were not conducted, or were conducted improperly, the approved free growing obligations, as well as the costs associated with achieving these obligations, will remain the responsibility of the licensee.

Assessing strata identified as not requiring treatment

If a stratum has been identified as having dwarf mistletoe present but not requiring treatment, and if the stratum has an approved prescription which prescribes no treatment as being required, and the presence of dwarf mistletoe results in the non-achievement of a free growing stand, then the district manager may choose accept stocking levels of preferred or acceptable species below the minimum stocking standards.

Assessing strata not identified as infected

If a stratum has not been identified as being infested with dwarf mistletoe, or if the licensee explicitly stated that the stratum is not infested with dwarf mistletoe, and if dwarf mistletoe resulted in a non-free growing stand, then the approved free growing obligations, as well as the costs associated with achieving those obligations, will remain the responsibility of the licensee.
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