Analyzing residual stand damage under different harvesting methods in the Northern Maine Acadian Forest.

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Abstract Summary

One major component of a sustainable timber harvest is the trees left behind after the harvest. Depending on landowner objectives, these residual trees may be intended for future growth in value, wildlife habitat promotion, seed supply, or general aesthetics. With large mechanized harvesting equipment involved, damage can be inflicted on the crown, stem, or roots of the residual trees; and can pose a risk of death from diseases, natural calamities and/or degrade future economic value. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate residual stand damage following a partial timber harvest. Four harvest blocks implementing different silvicultural prescriptions (i.e., overstory removal, two types of crop tree releases, and diameter limit cut) were selected as the treatment. The study site was located on an industrial timberland in northern Maine. Type, frequency, and intensity of the damage were recorded for each treatment during August 2018. Cut-to-Length (CTL) and Whole-tree (WT) harvesting methods were employed for conducting the harvest. The inventory showed that 148 trees were damaged. Damages recorded were 95% stem related, 14% crown related, and 12% root related. Species damaged included sugar maple, red maple, red spruce, American beech, yellow birch, northern white-cedar, and eastern white pine. The CTL method had reduced residual damage compared to more in the WT method. Results were compared with similar analysis from other research in Maine. The study is expected to facilitate landowners and foresters in decision making while planning their harvest.

Keywords: Forest operations; Silvicultural prescription; Timber harvesting; Tree injury

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Natural Sciences
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PM1 (1:00 -2:00)