An assessment of Nova Scotia plantations established between 1979 and 1982

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University of New Brunswick


Plantations established on northeastern mainland Nova Scotia between 1979 and 1982 were assessed in the summer of 1984 using the technique of systematic sampling. Data on tree densities (for both planted and natural conifer regeneration), tree growth (total height and leader length), damaged trees, competing vegetation, and microsite selection were collected. Sampling intensity was one-quarter of one percent using circular plots. Data was recorded by line on tally sheets. Travel lines and plots were mapped on 1:10,000 scale management sketches. Plantations were established using various species of spruce (Picea sp.) and red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) and ranged in size from 4 hectares to 78 hectares. All plantations were established on recent cutovers and on a burn which occurred in 1976. Planted tree densities varied widely. Natural regeneration was abundant on cutovers but not on burn plantations. The predominant species of natural regeneration was balsam fir (Abies balsamea [Mill.]). The assessment data, on its own, provides a good current evaluation of a plantation and indicates future management requirements (e.g. competition control). However, best use can be made of the assessment information when it is used with nursery, site preparation, and plantation establishment information. Various aspects of plantation success or failure may be traced to a particular aspect of forest renewal. This could lead to a modification of future programs for more successful and cost efficient plantations in the future. Minor modifications of current sampling procedures are recommended to more efficiently and accurately assess plantations.