Some effects of prescribed burning following clear-cutting in poor site aspen

TitleSome effects of prescribed burning following clear-cutting in poor site aspen
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication1958
AuthorsJr. REFarmer
Academic DepartmentSchool of Natural Resources and Environment
DegreeMaster of Science
Number of Pages53 pp.
UniversityUniversity of Michigan
CityAnn Arbor, MI

The results of this study substantiate the belief that fire stimulates the production of Populus grandidentata root suckers. However, the experiment has not demonstrated that controlled burning results in an increased rate of early height growth. The fact that stems of Quercus rubra and Acer rubrum were more abundant on the unburned area has little significance in this study, since this abundance is accounted for by the presence of a large number of oak and maple stumps on this tract. In fact, stump sprouting was found to be more prolific on the more recently burned plots. On the basis of the data, we cannot conclude that fire has been effective in reducing maple and oak stump sprouts. However, the height growth of oak and maple seemed to be more vigorous on the unburned area. Other tree species offered little competition to the aspen due to the small number of stems present. Most shrubby and herbaceous plants found abundantly in older aspen stands continue to thrive after a clear-cutting. These plants may offer some competition to very young aspen. With the possible exception of Pteridium aquilinum, it is believed that herbaceous plants which immediately establish themselves in a burned area have little or no effect on aspen root suckers. A more controlled study must be made in order to determine the degree to which compeitition from this class of vegetation affects the early growth of aspen.