Case Study Name (Landowner)

IIC White Spruce Release - Hart Lake (UPM-Blandin)

Stand Information
State or Province: 
Nearest city or town: 
Goodland, MN
MN ECS Native Plant Community System: 
Plant community or habitat classification and growth stage: 
Forest Health Threats: 
Estimated year of stand origin: 
Silviculture System: 
Brief silvicultural objective: 
Regenerate spruce and aspen in mixed stand for future commercial harvests
Menahga-Itasca complex, 0-10 percent slopes and 10 to 25 percent slopes
Stand area: 
30 acres
Treatment area: 
30 acres

This case describes treatments implemented at three different sites, labeled Hart Lake, Prairie River, and Shoal Lake. All sites are on industry-owned land dedicated to commercial timber production. The silvicultural objective is to regenerate aspen-spruce mixed woods for multiple commercial entries. [We have decided to publish all three as the same case. Treatments are identical, only locations differ. The Photographs section includes photos from all three sites. -ed.]

Silviculture Objective(s)

To regenerate conifer and aspen for multiple entries for commercial harvests.

Pre-treatment stand description and condition
Stand establishment and management history: 

Aspen clearcut, planted with white spruce, and aspen allowed to resprout. No herbicides used. 

Pre-treatment species composition: 

Aspen, white spruce, balsam fir

Landowner objectives/situation: 

Industrial land, for commercial timber production.

Silviculture Prescription

Manually release 3’ radius around all conifer seedlings with brush saws.  1100 trees per acre is the goal upon completion

What actually happened during the treatment

Migrant crews used brush cutters in summer of 2011 to remove all woody competition within 3 foot radius of each conifer on the site. A control area had been cordoned off and not cleared for comparison.  Plots within control and treated sites were measured by Pike, Warren, Humenberger 2011 after treatments were completed.  Plots were finished in 2015.  

Post-treatment assessment

Conifer trees within the treated plots were more vigorous than those in the untreated plots.  Overall survival of planted spruce trees was high across the site (>75%). The prescription appears to be favorable to health of the conifers.  We observed pockets of balsam fir, and occasional white pine trees that seeded in naturally. 

Costs and economic considerations

Harvest was clearcut, pre-commercial treatment required approximately three days to complete on the 19-acre Shoal Lake site.

Other notes

We established four 1/5 acre plots with rebar center posts in treated and adjacent control (untreated) areas to monitor the effects of the treatments over time.  We collected baseline data for future study. 

Summary / lessons learned / additional thoughts

The planted white spruce seedlings were vigorous; the overstory above them seemed to protect the seedlings from effects of early spring frost.  The release was necessary and successful at invigorating the seedlings.  

White spruce release Hart Lake control plotWhite spruce release Hart Lake treatment plotWhite spruce release Shoal Lake controlWhite spruce release Shoal Lake treatment plotWhite spruce release Prairie River control plotWhite spruce release Prairie River treatment plot
Quintin Legler
UPM-Blandin Paper Company

Initial sale set up by UPM-Blandin (Quintin Legler, Gene Grell (retired), Cheryl Adams).  Study plots installed by FR Department at UM: C. Pike, E. Humenburger, J. Warren, J. Hendrickson

Grand Rapids , MN ,
Phone Number: 
(218) 327-6304