Site Index Curves and Growth Efficiency of Sugar Maple by Habitat Type in Western Maine
- Leathers, Mark
The Graduate School University of Maine
Maine has a valuable northern hardwood resource that is considered to be underutilized. Effective utilization of this resource requires an understanding of a site's capability to grow trees. Height development of sugar maple (Acer saccharum) was examined due to its high commercial value and occurrence across a wide range of site classes. A stem analysis site index study was done on forty mature sugar maple trees in western Maine. Sample trees were obtained from four different soil based habitat types. Age and height measurements were taken from discs at two meter increments. Trees were screened for evidence of suppression and a sub-sample of unsuppressed trees was retained to examine height development. Site index curves were produced using a modified form of the Chapman-Richards model. This model was further refined to fit the age/height data from each habitat, and growth by habitat was compared. Periods of free growth in the suppressed sub-sample were matched to the height model, ad adjusted for suppression. Height development and site index were compared among habitat type, slope position, and drainage class and no significant differences were found.
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