Figure 1: 2010 infrared aerial photo of black spruce local seed reforestation site
This lowland harvest shows that reforestation using on-site seed can be accomplished on appropriate sites during good seed years. The forester supervising the timber sale noticed a healthy cone crop was produced the year of harvest. The timber sale regulations required limbing slash to be distributed on site. This clearcut stand contained an excellent sphagnum moss seed bed, which allowed for regeneration success.
The objective for this site was to reforest the black spruce type for a future timber sale (with estimated 120 year rotation). The seedling target for 5 years following harvest is a site that is 95% stocked with 1500 trees per acre in lowland black spruce clearcuts.
An overall landscape goal is to balance the age class for the lowland black spruce type. Another goal is to provide timber for market on state trust fund land.
Pre-treatment stand description and condition
Stand establishment and management history:
Management history prior to timber sale is unknown.
Pre-treatment species composition:
Site was dominated by black spruce, which had 23.5 cords an acre at time of harvest.
Timber Sale Regulations:
- Harvest all merchantable spruce and tamarack.
- Fell all live black spruce equal to or greater than 5 feet tall.
- Fell timber progressively away from landings to help site to set up.
- Distribute slash within sale boundaries.
- If site damage becomes apparent, alter or cease operations and contact state.
- The location and construction of all roads and landings must be pre-approved by the state.
What actually happened during the treatment
Stand was logged using conventional equipment in February-March 2012. Limbs with cones were scattered across the site. Tops from slashing were piled and burned December 2013.
Figure 2: Close up of black spruce seedlings
Figure 3: Cluster of black spruce seedlings
Regeneration Check March 11, 2016
100% stocked with black spruce seedlings 0.5-1 foot tall; 1,253 trees per acre
7% stocked with balsam fir 0.5 foot tall; 6 trees per acre
Plans for future treatments
No future treatments are planned.
Costs and economic considerations
No costs were associated with the reforestation of this site.
Summary / lessons learned / additional thoughts
Recognizing sites that can be left alone is as valuable as recognizing what needs intervention.