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Title: Tree growth and soil relations at the 1925 Wind River spacing test in coast Douglas-fir.

Author: Miller, Richard E.; Reukema, Donald L.; Anderson, Harry W.;

Date: 2004

Source: Res. Pap. PNW-RP-558. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 41 p

Publication Series: Research Paper (RP)

Description: The 1925 Wind River spacing test is the earliest field trial seeking to determine the most appropriate spacing for planting Douglas-fir. Spacing treatments were not replicated, although individual spacings were subsampled by two to four tree-measurement plots. Previously, greater growth occurred at the wider spacings (10 and 12 ft) than at the closer spacings (4, 5, 6, and 8 ft). We considered three possible explanations: (1) close spacing eventually retarded growth, (2) soil quality may be better in the 10- and 12-ft spacings than at closer spacings, and (3) tree spacing and soil quality combined affected growth. To test these explanations, we (1) measured and mapped several site factors (topographic relief, depth to bedrock, and soil properties) and (2) related these factors to tree and stand growth. We infer from the strong correlation between spacing and soil variables that the influence of soil and spacing cannot be separated; differences in soil depth and available water capacity confound spacing effects and vice versa. Because soils in the wider spacings are generally deeper and have more available water capacity than do soils in the closer spacings, we conclude that some of the superior tree growth attained in the 10-and 12-ft spacings is due to more favorable soil conditions. Visual comparisons of tree size, however, suggest that spacing is probably the stronger factor affecting tree growth at this location.

Keywords: Douglas-fir, tree spacing, tree size, stand yields, soil depth, available water capacity, site productivity

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Miller, Richard E.; Reukema, Donald L.; Anderson, Harry W. 2004. Tree growth and soil relations at the 1925 Wind River spacing test in coast Douglas-fir. Res. Pap. PNW-RP-558. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 41 p

 


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