Current issue: 55(3)
Under compilation: 55(4)
Birches’ (Betula sp.) ability to grow sprouts is low. The stump grows root collar and stump shoots, but the stump shoots are not proper stump shoots that will grow from the space between wood and bark. The buds are situated very low in the base, even under the ground. In this study, no actual root shoots could be found. Also the bushy alpine birches seem to be formed from stump and root collar shoots.
In Southern Finland silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) is more common than downy birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) in dry upland forest sites, while downy birch is common in fresh mineral soil forests and peatlands. In Northern Finland downy birch is the dominant birch species. Of the two species downy birch has markedly better capacity to form stump and root collar shoots both in Northern and Southern Finland. In general, birches grow sprouts much more strongly in Northern Finland.
Growth of the shoots is fastest during the first year after the felling of the parent tree and slows down gradually. The stump shoots may get separated from the stump when the stump decays, and the decay may also spread to the shoots. It is common that the shoots have no own roots, and die along with the stump. The shoots may have own root system or use roots of the parent tree that have stayed alive, in the latter case decay spreads almost always from the stump to the shoot. Whether the tree was felled with axe or saw had no effect on sprouting, probably because the sprouting buds are situated in the base of the tree. The larger stumps had usually fewer sprouts than smaller stumps. The fertility of the site seemed to have little effect on sprouting, but more moist sites formed more sprouts.
Forest regeneration using sprouts may be possible in peatlands for firewood production. on mineral soil sites birch does not suit for coppicing. The proportion of trees originating from sprouts decreases strongly by the time. Consequently, in Southern Finland sprouts have little effect on regeneration of birch. In Northern Finland sprouting is the most important way of regeneration.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The aim of the present study was to assess whether two-year old Betula verrucosa Ehrh. (now Betula pendula Roth.) transplants can be used in afforestation of drained peatlands and what factors affect the development of the young trees. The seedlings were planted in 1967. The site was repair planted next spring due to mortality caused by a undefined fungal disease, and the plantations were fertilized with NPK fertilizer (soil application. The seedlings were measured twice a year until the autumn 1970.
Only 28% of the original transplants, and 73.4% of the repair plantations were alive in 1970. In some cases, fertilization improved the results, while in others it was detrimental to the trees or had no effect on survival. According to peat analysis, the poor survival and development of the plants could be due to the too high ratios of N/Ca and N/P. Stunted or dead trees displayed often necrosis caused by Godronia multispora. According to the experiences, Betula verrucosa plantations are inferior to those obtained with Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.). In addition, the results indicate that in old draining areas calcium and phosphorus are often too low in comparison to nitrogen.
The PDF includes a summary in English.
The study is continuation of the earlier structure and growth studies of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) in Forest Research Institute. The material represents birch stands (Betula verrucosa, now B. pendula, and B. Pubescens L.) in Southern Finland. The stands were treated with different fellings, and in regard to their silvicultural condition classified as good, satisfactory and unsatisfactory. Height of the trees, height of living crown, volume, increment and volume increment and development of stem diameter series was measured.
The most characteristic difference between the silviculturally good and poor stands was that the the annual increment of the good stands concentrated into large size trees, and the increment of unsatisfactory stands into small and inferior trees.
It is concluded that if the aim of stand treatment is to produce large and high quality volume increment, the most favourable stand volume of birch stands, compared with naturally normal stand volume, seems to be 90-85% at the age of 41-55 years, and 80-70% at the age of 56-65 years. If growth of large size trees is aimed at, the maximum number of the dominant trees per hectares cannot be more than 400 at the age of 50-60 years.
The article includes a summary in English.