Acclimation of thinned lodgepole pine trees to wind

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College of Forest Resources and Environmental Science


This study investigated the wind-driven sway patterns of 10 trees in an even-aged lodgepole pine stand ten years following thinning. This stand was previously investigated by Rudnicki et al. (2003), who documented the changed patterns of mapped stem frequency distribution of boles on half of the trees shortly after thinning. Ten years later, the same trees were re-instrumented to evaluate the changes patterns of bole distribution and growth characteristics following this disturbance. Ten years after thinning all trees had circular patterns of bole distribution similar to those documented before the thinning. A reduction in sway distance at average wind speed of 5.0 m s−1 was also documented, despite trees being on average 2.1 m taller. In addition, crown closure increased and there were overlapping crowns between some trees. The asymmetrical radial increment of the bole at breast height and percentage of latewood both appeared to be related to the elimination of the mapped elliptical patterns of bole positions ten years following thinning.

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Forest Ecology and Management