Object & Deliverables
This one year study was aimed at quantifying the impacts of the amount, type, and method of logging residue distribution on aspen regeneration. A secondary objective was to document the effects on residual understory white spruce release from overstory aspen and to thinning. The project site was located on the east edge of the Fawcett Lake burn area, approximately 25 km north of Smith, Alberta.
The study showed a clear effect of slash relative to no slash in inhibiting aspen regeneration. Slash redistribution would not be recommended if it resulted in heavy accumulations over the block. The study also found that an experienced operator’s qualitative estimates of slash loading is as useful as more laborious quantitative methods. The study was not able to develop a robust mathematical relationship between aspen density and any measured or calculated variable based on slash amounts. It varied too much by microsite and climatic conditions. The white spruce release and thinning portion of the study will be reassessed at regular intervals over the next 5-10 years to document the growth response. These results were not included in this report. The final report was entitled, “Aspen Regeneration and White Spruce Release, Accuracy of visually estimating levels of logging debris and its effect on aspen regeneration, and thinning of white spruce to promote release – Final Report”, submitted to FRIAA on Sept 07, 2001 by David E. Kelsberg, Ken J. Greenway and Rongzhou Man of Forest Resources, Alberta Research Council.