Doug Pitt, Phil Comeau, Milo Mihajlovich, Dan MacIsaac, Scott McPherson,and Al Stinson
Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service

SERG Project #2002/06
Year of Project: 2003
Report Received: 2003


Technical Note

In March 2002, a study was initiated to increase our understanding of the effects of selected silviculture practices on the establishment and growth of a mixed crop of white spruce and aspen following clear felling on boreal mixedwood sites. The hypothesis being tested is that a low density of white spruce (400 sph) can be planted and managed on an individual-tree basis to produce a sawlog crop, while aspen are grown to an early technical rotation in the intervening areas between the spruce. The aspen will, potentially, enhance spruce stem quality and provide a cash crop during mid spruce sawlog rotation.

Two research sites have been established to test this hypothesis. The first is located at Judy Creek, near Whitecourt Alberta, on lands licenced to Blue Ridge Lumber (1981) Ltd. Funding for this installation was provided by Alberta Herbicide Task Force, Alberta Mixedwood Management Association, Blue Ridge Lumber (1981) Ltd., Canadian Ecology Centre - Forestry Research Partnership (Grant Forest Products), Canadian Forest Products, Canadian Forest Service, Dow AgroSciences, Millar Western Forest Products Limited, Monsanto Canada, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (through the Spray Efficacy Research Group). NSERC, the Canadian Forest Service, and University of Alberta are supporting additional microclimatological and crop physiology measurements on this installation.

The second site, located near Timmins Ontario, on lands licenced to Tembec, is supported by the Canadian Ecology Centre - Forestry Research Partnership (Tembec, Canadian Forest Service, and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources), Living Legacy Trust, Monsanto Canada, and Dow AgroSciences. Although both installations are situated within the boreal forest region, they complement each other in representing somewhat different ecoregional climate, vegetation, and soil characteristics.

This report summarizes the research activities and preliminary results of these installations to date (December 2003). Background, objectives, and methods are presented for the overall research project, followed by activities specific to the Alberta installation in Part A and the Ontario installation in Part B of this report.