Current issue: 54(4)
Under compilation: 54(5)
Moose (Alces alces L.) browsing causes severe damage in Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) seedling stands. The effects of this damage on the quality of sawlogs were studied in a long-term controlled experiment. This article reports the stem size and external quality characteristics of Scots pine stems 34 years after artificial moose browsing damage. Damaging the trees by clipping the main stem at the seedling stage reduced the diameter, height, and tree volume of the trees at the end of the experiment. The tree growth reduction was dependent on the severity of clipping. The differences between the damaged and the control trees were more obvious in diameter than in height at the time of final felling. Stem form defects and vertical branches were the most typical externally detectable defects caused by clipping. Defects in the butt logs were detected in 71–89% of the damaged trees, depending on the clipping treatment severity. The stronger the clipping treatment, the more likely the stem form was defected and the more commonly were vertical branches and crooks detected in the stems. The results indicate that both tree dimensions and stem quality suffer from moose browsing. The findings of this controlled experiment more likely underestimate than overestimate the damage in comparison to real moose browsing. Further analyses are required to assess the effects of browsing damage on the internal quality of sawlogs and subsequent economic outcomes.
This paper investigates and models the effects of pruning season and tool on wound occlusion with varying tree and branch characteristics of silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) stems at the pruning height of 0−4 metres. Dates of eight secateurs prunings, three saw prunings and two sticks prunings as well as unpruned control were tested in permanent plots on four sites. Knot occlusion and discolouration in stemwood were measured from about 1600 studied knots of 112 sample trees felled five to six years after pruning in 2010. Knot occlusion rate was modelled according to pruning tool, date, tree growth, and branch characteristics. The occlusion was the fastest in trees pruned in spring or early summer, and the slowest in trees pruned in autumn. Stubs of living branches occluded faster than the dead ones with the same diameter. Saw pruning resulted in clearly better occlusion rates than secateurs pruning, caused by the shorter knot stubs after saw pruning. Hitting dead branches away with a stick resulted in the worst occlusion status. The colour defects spread more often upward from the knot than downward. Discolouration in stemwood was detected more frequently near to the pruned branches than the unpruned ones, and more widely near to the stubs of dead branches than the living ones. Most saw and secateurs pruned branches were completely occluded during the experiment, so these prunings were suitable for all branches under 20 mm in diameter, and for living branches even up to 30 mm in fast-growing trees.