Current issue: 56(4)
Under compilation: 57(1)
The writer reports in this discussion article of four stands in Finland that have died due to a bolt of lightning. A death of a group of trees because of lightning has been relatively uncommon for the forest professionals. The trees may not have no lightning marks. The four sites are presented in detail. Characteristic for this type of death of trees is, for instance, that trees have died within a circular area (of usually 30 m of diameter), only conifers have died, trees die from the top down, sometimes marks can be found in trees in the centre of the area, and under the bark may be brown patches or stripes.
Increase in the elk (Alces alces L.) population and the problems of its grazing has called for detailed research. The present study concentrated on three observation areas representing northern, western and eastern parts of Finland. There were 28 field observers watching 68 elks.
Earlier investigations in Finland indicate that aspen (Populus tremula L.) is the staple diet of elk. This study reached different conclusions, probably largely because of aspen is gradually becoming an increasingly rare tree species in Finland. According to this study, the principal food of elk in the winter is willow (Salix sp.). In the whole country, willow accounts for about 70% of elk’s nutrition. In the Far North the percentage is approx. 90. Of the other tree species, the order of preference is: aspen, Scots pine, mountain ash, juniper and birch. In addition, in Western Finland where snow is less deep, lingonberry and blueberry shrubs are on the menu. Beard moss on the spruce was frequently eaten locally. Elk seems to have eaten mainly the last annual shoot of trees and bushes. In few cases it has gnawed the bark of Scots pine, aspen and willow. Elk consumes in average 340 twigs or terminal shoots per day in the winter. This corresponds to about 1.8 kg of food.
The problem of elks damaging Scots pine seedlings has been observed in Western Finland, were the elk population is higher. The article suggests that suitable feeding places would be left for elk in places that are unsuitable for agriculture or forestry. Leaving, for instance, birch seedlings in Scots pine stands has been noticed to attract elks and to increase the damage to pine.
The article includes an abstract in English and a summary in Swedish.
A forest damage was detected in spring 1931 near electro-chemical factory in Imatra in Eastern Finland. It was deduced that it was caused by a gas discharge from the factory. A survey was made to describe the damages. Forests in the damaged area of five hectares were Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) dominated and 60-80 years old. According to the factory, the exhaust gases contained 0.4 mg chlorine per liter. In addition, chlorate containing liquids evaporated thorough the chimney, which seemed to have been the main cause of the damage. The chlorates may have concentrated in the snow covering the trees during the winter. The Scots pine trees had lost all the needles in spring, but grew new needles in the summer. In some trees the new needles were few or undeveloped. Some mild damages were noticed in pine and Betula sp. during the growing season. Forest edges and trees higher that the other trees were worst damaged. Pine was most sensitive to the emission. Pine weakened by the gas damages were attacked by insects, the most important being Pissodes sp. The secondary insect damage is likely to kill the surviving trees. The dying pines should be removed only if it is necessary to prevent the spreading of insect damage. The trees may hinder the spreading of further gas emissions. In future, other tree species should be preferred over pine.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
Observatons of drying of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) stands increased in 1930s in Southern Finland. The aim of the study was to analyse the advance and causes of drying. The work was begun in 1930s before the Second World War, and the damages caused to the forests by the war was used as supplemental observations in the study. A special method, drying analysis, was developed to study the process. It was used both in cases of insect and fungal diseases in the four research areas in Raivola and Ruotsinkylä. In addition, 7 observation areas were studied.
Several causes for drying of the trees were observed in the Norway spruce stands. These included European spruce bark beetle (Dendroctonus micans), root rot (Heterobasidion annosum), pine weevils (Pissodes sp.), bark beetles and honey fungus (Armillaria mellea).
The role of primary and secondary causes for drying, resistance of the trees and the drying process are discussed. Finally, the influence of forest management in drying process is analysed. Forests in natural state can be considered to be in an ideal balance. On the other hand, forest management can be used to maintain the vitality and resistance of the forests. Drying of Norway spruce stands can be taken into consideration when the stands are managed.
The PDF includes a summary in German.