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Title: Vegetation trends in a young conifer plantation after grazing, grubbing, and chemical release. Forest Service research paper

Abstract

A 3-year-old Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi Grev. and Balf.) plantation in northern California was released by grazing with sheep for 5 years, manual grubbing for 3 years, and applying a herbicide 1 year. These treatments plus an untreated control provided an opportunity to evaluate density and developmental trends for the pine, shrub, and grass components of the plant community during 1986-1994. Creating a near-free-to-grow condition by applying Velpar herbicide modified the plant community by controlling the shrubs, reduced cheatgrass in the second and third years, and caused mean pine diameter, foliar cover, and height to be significantly greater than counterparts in all other treatments. Nipping of twigs by sheep stimulated foliar cover of snowbrush to more than three times that of similar plants in the control. Grazing significantly reduced greenleaf manzanita cover. Grubbing a 4-foot radius around pine seedlings, and grazing with sheep did not increase Jeffrey pine development relative to the control. Because of this ineffectiveness, the efficacy of grazing as a silvicultural tool is questioned and suggestions for its betterment are presented.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Forest Service, Berkeley, CA (United States). Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station
OSTI Identifier:
557558
Report Number(s):
PB-98-105737/XAB; FSRP-PSW-228
TRN: 73444435
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: Jul 1996
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
09 BIOMASS FUELS; CONIFERS; SILVICULTURE; STAND DENSITY

Citation Formats

McDonald, P.M., Fiddler, G.O., and Meyer, P.W.. Vegetation trends in a young conifer plantation after grazing, grubbing, and chemical release. Forest Service research paper. United States: N. p., 1996. Web.
McDonald, P.M., Fiddler, G.O., & Meyer, P.W.. Vegetation trends in a young conifer plantation after grazing, grubbing, and chemical release. Forest Service research paper. United States.
McDonald, P.M., Fiddler, G.O., and Meyer, P.W.. Mon . "Vegetation trends in a young conifer plantation after grazing, grubbing, and chemical release. Forest Service research paper". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_557558,
title = {Vegetation trends in a young conifer plantation after grazing, grubbing, and chemical release. Forest Service research paper},
author = {McDonald, P.M. and Fiddler, G.O. and Meyer, P.W.},
abstractNote = {A 3-year-old Jeffrey pine (Pinus jeffreyi Grev. and Balf.) plantation in northern California was released by grazing with sheep for 5 years, manual grubbing for 3 years, and applying a herbicide 1 year. These treatments plus an untreated control provided an opportunity to evaluate density and developmental trends for the pine, shrub, and grass components of the plant community during 1986-1994. Creating a near-free-to-grow condition by applying Velpar herbicide modified the plant community by controlling the shrubs, reduced cheatgrass in the second and third years, and caused mean pine diameter, foliar cover, and height to be significantly greater than counterparts in all other treatments. Nipping of twigs by sheep stimulated foliar cover of snowbrush to more than three times that of similar plants in the control. Grazing significantly reduced greenleaf manzanita cover. Grubbing a 4-foot radius around pine seedlings, and grazing with sheep did not increase Jeffrey pine development relative to the control. Because of this ineffectiveness, the efficacy of grazing as a silvicultural tool is questioned and suggestions for its betterment are presented.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jul 01 00:00:00 EDT 1996},
month = {Mon Jul 01 00:00:00 EDT 1996}
}

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  • An 11-year-old ponderosa pine (pinus pronderosa) plantation in northern California was grazed annually in summer by 600-1150 dry (nonlactating) ewes in an attempt to reduce competing vegetation and increase growth of pine seedlings. The sheep also provided an opportunity to evaluate density and developmental trends in the pine, shrub, grass, thistle, and forb components of the plant community. A manual release and a deer-only treatment provided contrast to the effects of grazing by sheep. In general, stem diameter and foliar cover of ponderosa pines, rarely damaged by sheep or deer, were significantly greater in manually grubbed areas, but only aftermore » 8 years. Pines in grazed areas never differed significantly in height, stem diameter, or foliar cover from control areas. Density, cover, and height of deerbrush (Ceanothus integerrimus) were generally fewer and lower it grubbed and grazed, but grass and bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) were larger and more numerous in these treatments. Forb cover was highest in the grubbed treatment.« less
  • The density and development of greenleaf manzanita, snowbrush, goldenbush (rabbitbrush), and graminoids were evaluated in a young California red fir plantation in northern California from 1986 through 1995. Manual grubbing and herbicides created treatments regimes that lasted for 3 to 6 years and vegetation recovery times of 4 to 10 years. The duration and timing of the grubbing and spraying operations constituted the treatments. Species response was mixed: greenleaf manzanita had higher average values of density, foliar cover, and height when time since disturbance was longest, snowbrush density was lowest but cover and height were highest, and values for goldenbrushmore » and graminoids in general showed no trend. In the control at the end of the study, graminoids numbered 82,350 per acre, greenleaf manzanita 10,850, goldenbrush 10,800, and snowbrush 1,850 plants per acre. Foliar cover of manzanita at 7,300 square feet per acre was more than that of all other naturally estblished species combined. Survival of red fir over all teatments after one growing season was 98 percent and after 10 seasons was 89 percent. Average height of red fir seedlings ranged from 3.2 feet with intensive release to 1.7 feet with no release. No release allowed greenleaf manzanita plants to be slightly taller than red fir seedlings and to place the seedlings in danger of being overtopped.« less
  • On a poor site in northern California, a brushfield community was treated in various ways which left initial densities of no shrubs, light, medium, and heavy shrubs. Density and development (height, foliar cover, crown volume) for three shrub species (alone and combined), one grass, and planted ponderosa pine in these categories were quantified from 1966 to 1992. Successional trends (ascendance and decline) are presented for these species and for forbs from 1962 (the date pines were planted) through 1992. Regression equations that model density and development are presented for the shrubs and pine. In general, greenleaf manzanita prospered during themore » study; snowbrush initially developed well, but then declined; Sierra plum endured, but was relegated to the understory; needlegrass invaded rapdily, peaked early, and was mostly gone by the end of the study. Only a trace of forb species remained by study end. Needlegrass displayed strong environmental preference, becoming dense and developing well in shrub-free areas, but was scarcely present in heavy shrubs. Ponderosa pine grew well in no-shrub plots, farily well in light-shrub plots, and poorly in medium- and heavy-shrub plots. Extensive testing showed that shrub foliar cover and crown volume per acre explained more variation in several pine parameters than shrub height or density.« less
  • Douglas-fir seedlings on the Arcata Resource Area, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior, in central coastal California, were released by chain sawing and grubbing competing vegetation around them at different frequencies (0, 2, and 3 grubbings) over a 5-year period. After 5 years, average Douglas-fir stem diameter (measured at 12 inches above mean groundline) of seedlings grubbed at ages 1, 2, and 5 was 0.91 inches, and of seedlings grubbed after the first and fifth growing season was 0.95 inches. Both were significantly larger than counterparts in the control (0.57 inches).
  • A 12-year-old ponderosa pine plantation on the Tahoe National Forest in northern California was mechanically treated with a Hydro-Ax in an attempt to increase the survival and growth of the planted seedlings. Other release methods were not feasible because the shrubs in the mixed-shrub community (greenleaf manzanita, mountain whitethorn, bittercherry, coffeberry) were too large (3 to 5 feet tall) and well developed. Additional treatments were a chemical treatment, in which 2,4-D was applied to a portion of the study site that had been treated with the Hydro-Ax 1 year previously, and control. Eleven growing seasons after treatment (1993), average pinemore » crown cover was statistically higher in the mechanical treatment (Hydro-Ax alone) than in the control. This was the only significant enhancement of pine growth by the Hydro-Ax alone. Mean pine diameter and height did not differ statistically from the control after 11 years. In contrast, the Hydro-Ax plus herbicide (chemical) treatment statistically increased pine crown cover, height, and diameter over the Hydro-Ax alone and the control. Mean crown cover was 104 percent greater in the treated trees than for pines in the control, height was 45 percent greater, and diameter was 47 percent greater. Relative costs were $225 per acre for the Hydro-Ax alone (mechanical) and $273 per acre for the Hydro-Ax + herbicide (chemical). Altogether, the most cost-effective treatment was Hydro-Ax + herbicide (chemical).« less