The effect of different densities of varnishleaf ceanothus (Ceanothus velutinus var. laevigatus) and herbaceous vegetation control on stem diameter, height, and volume of plantation Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. menziesii) seedlings was examined during the 10 yr following planting. Initial densities of ceanothus ranged between 0 and 15,000 seedlings/ha and were obtained by interplanting ceanothus germinants or chemical thinning after clearcutting and broadcast-burning. Herbaceous vegetation control was achieved by a single application of glyphosate following planting, with shrub seedlings covered. Ceanothus density in the range of 0 to 6,750 plants/ha did not have an effect on Douglas-fir diameter, height, or volume at age 10; however, Douglas-fir growth was significantly decreased when ceanothus densities reached 15,000 plants/ha. Ten years after planting, Douglas-fir volume in the treatments with 6,750 ceanothus/ha or less was 1.7 times greater than that in the 15,000 ceanothus/ha treatment. On the other hand, removal of herbaceous vegetation after planting significantly increased tree diameter, height, and volume, regardless of ceanothus density. Even 10 yr after the application of the treatment, trees without early herb competition grew faster and had mean dbh, height, and volume that were 1.02 cm, 0.55 m, and 12.98 dm3/tree greater respectively than those with herbs. Thus, a treatment at plantation establishment to control herbaceous vegetation and to reduce ceanothus density to less than 7,000 plants/ha will ensure an increase in growth and stocking for at least 10 yr.
Additional publication details
Ten-year growth response of young Douglas-fir to variable density varnishleaf ceanothus and herb competition