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The effects of four cleaning treatments on the survival, growth of, and whipping damage to Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) main stems were studied in young planted pine stands in southern Finland. Treatments were: no cleaning, point-cleaning of broadleaves (mainly birch, Betula pendula Roth and B. pubescens Ehrh.) within a radius of 1 m from the pine, topping of competing broadleaves, and total cleaning of broadleaves. A randomised complete block design with three replicates was established in five sapling stands: the mean height of the pines was 1.5 m in the three younger stands (6 or 7 years old), and 3 m in the two older stands (9 years old). Measurements taken four growing seasons later showed that in the younger stands, all cleaning treatments significantly (P < 0.05) decreased the mortality and increased the diameter increment of the pines. The height increment of the pines on point-cleaned and topped plots was significantly greater than on totally cleaned plots. In the older stands, the effects of cleaning treatments on the mortality and increment of pines were non-significant. In the younger and older stands, point-cleaning and total cleaning significantly reduced the whipping damage to pines, whereas the topping of competing broadleaves did not. The preliminary results support the use of point-cleaning in planted Scots pine stands when the mean height of the pines is about 1.5 m.
Finnish Forest Research Institute, Suonenjoki Unit, Juntintie 154, FI-77600 Suonenjoki, Finland
Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu Unit, P.O.Box 68, FI-80101 Joensuu, Finland