At two sites in southwestern Oregon, height, diameter, and crown width of young Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) and sprout-origin tanoak (Lithocarpus densiflorus) were measured 1a??11 years after reducing the density of a 2-year-old tanoak stand to 0%, 25%, 50%, and 100% of its initial cover. Some plots also included suppression of understory vegetation. Tanoak cover developed linearly with time, with steepness of the growth trajectory increasing at a diminishing rate with increasing percentage of initial tanoak cover. Fifth-year cover of understory vegetation declined linearly with increasing percentage of initial tanoak cover (R2 = 0.29). Survival of Douglas-fir (96a??100%) differed little among initial abundances of tanoak, while growth trajectories for its size became increasingly exponential with decreasing percentage of initial tanoak cover. Eleventh-year heights of Douglas-fir were similar for 0%, 25%, and 50% of initial tanoak cover; however, diameter increased linearly with decreasing percentage of initial tanoak cover (R2 = 0.73), and the slope of the relationship steepened with understory suppression. Our results indicate that young stands exhibiting a wide range of stand compositions and productivities can be established by early manipulations of tanoak and understory abundance. Complete removal of tanoak plus understory suppression are necessary to maximize Douglas-fir growth, while productive, mixed stands can be achieved by removing 50% or more of tanoak cover.
Additional publication details
Growth responses of young Douglas-fir and tanoak 11 years after various levels of hardwood removal and understory suppression in southwestern Oregon, USA