Natural regeneration of white spruce following logging

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University of New Brunswick


The failure of white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss.) to regenerate sufficiently well after logging, and thus to form future, potentially merchantible stands has become a widely recognized problem. Extensive research conclusively indicates that the scarcity of white spruce reproduction, even when an adequate seed supply is available, can be attributed primarily to a lack of seed beds favourable for regeneration. In order to create conditions more suitable for white spruce reproduction a number of silvicultural techniques have been utilized. Mechanical scarification has been found to be the most effective means of creating seed beds more favourable for germination and survival. Manipulation of the forest canopy using various harvesting methods have, by themselves, been found to be ineffective in promoting adequate regeneration. However, partial cutting, with scarification has been found to greatly enhance reproduction. Prescribed burning has been found to be generally unsatisfactory in creating seedbeds for white spruce and in many cases may create conditions more favourable for invasion by other types of vegetation. This report reviews the literature on factors affecting white spruce regeneration and the application of silvicultural techniques to promote more acceptable levels of reproduction.