Current issue: 57(1)
The study material was collected from 10 localities in South Finland in 1971–72. The material comprised 816 damaged Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) trees with a total of 978 injuries.
Decay (discoloration) spread upward from the damaged point was about three times as fast as downward. The mean rate of advance upward was 21 cm/year. The decay spreading at the quickest rate started from above-ground root collar injuries. The size of the damaged area (surface area, width and depth) correlated positively with the rate of increase in decay initiated by the injury. For the first 10 years the decay advanced at the same rate after which the advance became slower though not ceasing. Damage produced in the early summer caused a faster spread of decay than that produced in the late summer or winter. The rate of advance was the greater the larger the stem involved. When decay started from trunk damage its rate of advance was greater the faster the growth of the trees. With a better soil type, the rate of advance in decay increased. Fertilization increased the rate of advance.
The widest stem injuries reduced tree growth by about one-third, and severed roots by nearly half of the growth of trees where the width of the injuries was 0–4 cm. Fomes annosus (Heterobasidion annosum) infected spruce injuries especially in the southern coastal district. The farthest tips of discoloration proved in most cases to be sterile. The most common fungus isolated from these sites was Stereum sanguinolentum.
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