Current issue: 54(2)
In the eastern parts of South-Finland the growing season of 1967 was highly favourable, which resulted in good height growth during the following year. During the summer 1968, temperature conditions were unfavourable, while the middle of summer was cold and the later part of the growing season unusually hot. The following winter had exceptionally cold spells from January to March, which caused Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) abundant winter frost damages such as dead shoots and buds, and destroyed needles.
These damages occurred particularly in stands with height of 0.5–3 m, and the occurrence of damages seemed to concentrate to the parts of saplings that had been immediately above the snow cover. Detailed observations on spruce plantations growing under a dense nurse stand of alder (Alnus sp.) indicated that explicitly the top shoots suffered from damages and not so much the laterals. When the needles of the leader suffered from minor damages, the shoot continued to grow normally. Still, sometimes a branch took over and became a new leader. If only the leader bud was killed, further stem development became dependent on one of the topmost lateral buds. When the upper part of the leaded died, one of the lateral shoots at its base usually became the new leader.
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