Early survival and growth of planted hardwoods in the Acadian Forest
University of New Brunswick
Establishing advanced tolerant hardwood regeneration in the Acadian forest may play a more important role due to climate change. However, very little is known about establishing tolerant hardwoods through planting in Acadian forest. A small planting trial of 392 hardwood seedlings including red oak (Quercus rubra L.), sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.), and yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis Britt.) were planted in the Noonan Research Forest (NRF) beginning in 2015. We examined effects of caging, plant fraction (a measure of competition), and leaf production, combined with partial harvest, on early growth and survival of planted seedlings. Leaf number in the late summer 2018 had the greatest influence on height and RCD growth rate within the growing season while competition had the greatest influence on leaf number in the late summer 2018. Caged seedlings had larger size and higher survival rate. Caging or fencing combined with partial harvest and intensive competition control in the early stage are recommended to improve early growth and survival.