2409.17,2 Page 1 of 9 FOREST SERVICE HANDBOOK JUNEAU, ALASKA FSH 2409.17 - SILVICULTURAL PRACTICES HANDBOOK Region 10 Supplement No. 2409.17-99-3 Effective December 30, 1999 POSTING NOTICE. Supplements are numbered consecutively by title and calendar year. Post by document name. Remove entire document and replace with this supplement. Retain this transmittal as the first page of this document. The last supplement to this title was R-10 Supplement No. 2409.17-99-2, chapter 8. This supplement supersedes R-10 Supplement No. 2409.17-99-1 to chapter 2. Document Name Superseded New (Number of Pages) 2409.17,2 6 9 Digest: 2.1 - Specifies that the seed cut in a shelterwood or seed-tree cutting is a reforestation treatment for prescriptions involving natural regeneration without site preparation. 2.3 - Establishes the Petersburg Ranger District, Tongass National Forest as the manager of the Region's seedling program and maintaining the Region's seed cache. 2.4 - Adds Pacific silver fir as an acceptable tree species that can be used when determining if a stand is adequately stocked. Sets sampling standards for determining the number of sample plots needed. Establishes sampling procedures to follow when sampling "groups" harvested under group selection. 2.5 - Adds this section. Establishes procedures to follow and sampling standards for plantation survival transects. Establishes sampling procedures to follow when sampling "groups" harvested under group selection. /s/ Jacqueline Myers for RICK D. CABLES Regional Forester R-10 SUPPLEMENT 2409.17-99-3 EFFECTIVE 12/30/1999 2409.17,2 Page 2 of 9 TITLE 2409.17 - SILVICULTURAL PRACTICES HANDBOOK REGION 10 SUPPLEMENT NO. 2409.17-99-3 EFFECTIVE 12/30/99 CHAPTER 2 -- REFORESTATION Contents 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.31 2.32 2.4 2.5 2.51 2.52 2.52a 2.52b Reforestation Prescriptions Natural Regeneration Artificial Regeneration Seeding Planting Third Year Stocking Guidelines and Certification Standards Plantation Survival Examination Recording Planting or Seeding Examination First Growing Season Third Growing Season R-10 SUPPLEMENT 2409.17-99-3 EFFECTIVE 12/30/1999 2409.17,2 Page 3 of 9 TITLE 2409.17 - SILVICULTURAL PRACTICES HANDBOOK REGION 10 SUPPLEMENT NO. 2409.17-99-3 EFFECTIVE 12/30/99 2.1 - Reforestation Prescriptions. Revegetation of the site begins immediately after harvest. The silvicultural prescription must indicate the method, timing, species composition, and minimal acceptable size and stocking levels necessary to achieve the desired regeneration. For purposes of regeneration, the seed cut in a shelterwood or seed-tree cutting method is considered a reforestation treatment for prescriptions involving natural regeneration without site preparation. The prescription must take into account all environmental factors, resource concerns, and the objectives of management in developing the preferred treatments. Artificial regeneration is required on areas that do not regenerate naturally. Past experience on the Tongass National Forest has shown that due to prolific natural regeneration, almost 95 percent of areas receiving final removal harvest regenerate naturally. Conditions for natural regeneration are not as favorable on the Chugach Natural Forest, where historically most regeneration treatments have been artificial. 2.2 - Natural Regeneration. Natural regeneration should be used to restock harvested lands on most areas of Region 10 except where conditions require artificial regeneration. Due to prolific natural regeneration and the high probability of success of natural regeneration from past experience, stocking surveys will be done the third growing season after final harvest to ensure adequate stocking on areas designated for natural regeneration. If the third year survey indicates natural regeneration is unlikely to be adequate to restock the stand, artificial regeneration shall be prescribed. The artificial regeneration should be completed as soon as possible, and practical, after the third year survey. 2.3 - Artificial Regeneration. Artificial regeneration should be considered in all prescriptions and prescribed where conditions indicate that harvested areas may not be adequately stocked with natural regeneration of the desired species within 5 years after final harvest. The Petersburg Ranger District, Tongass National Forest, is responsible for maintaining the Region's seed cache and managing the Region's seedling program. 2.31 - Seeding. Normally, direct seeding for reforestation of deforested lands will not be scheduled in the Alaska Region. However, if analysis shows that a correlation exists between seed crop failure at time of harvest, and subsequent unsatisfactory stocking, direct seeding may be used. R-10 SUPPLEMENT 2409.17-99-3 EFFECTIVE 12/30/1999 2409.17,2 Page 4 of 9 To qualify for seeding, the following criteria must be met: 1. The area must have a good seed bed. 2. The seed bed will be lost if not seeded currently. 3. There is little or no natural seed source adjacent to the area at harvest time. 4. The area cannot be planted within 3 years or an economic analysis indicates that direct seeding will be more economical. This economic analysis must take into account the anticipated survival rate of seeding compared to the anticipated survival rate of planting along with anticipated follow-up treatments. Stocking surveys on seeded areas will be done the third growing season after final harvest to ensure adequate stocking. If the third year survey indicates that it is highly unlikely the site will be restocked within 5 years of final harvest, planting shall be prescribed. 2.32 - Planting. Generally, when planting is prescribed, it should be done as soon as possible, and practical, following final removal harvest. The density of planting should be such to ensure that seedlings will be well spaced and evenly distributed. All known mortality factors and future thinnings should be considered in determining planting densities to ensure that minimum stocking levels are maintained throughout the life of the stand. Survival examinations will be completed on planted acres at the end of the first and third growing season. In areas where winter mortality is common, the first and third year exams should be taken after the first and third winter seasons. In addition to the survival exams, stocking surveys will be done at the end of the third growing season. If the results of the third year exam and survey indicate it is unlikely that the site will be restocked within 5 years of final harvest, additional reforestation activities shall be done to adequately restock the site. Unpublished research and field observations indicate there are specific site conditions and opportunities which may indicate a need for artificial regeneration. Some situations to be particularly aware of are as follows: 1. Alluvial Sites a. Valley bottoms in flood plains. b. Alluvial fans on footslopes or toeslopes often associated with seeping, moving water. c. Mainland river bottom lands, on alluvial terraces. 2. Cutover, open canopy, or sparsely-stocked sites with an established ground cover of dense vegetation such as salmonberry, devils club, or grass. R-10 SUPPLEMENT 2409.17-99-3 EFFECTIVE 12/30/1999 2409.17,2 Page 5 of 9 3. Sites lacking a satisfactory seed source within approximately 660 feet from the center of the cutting unit. Examples are: a. High elevations where a seed source is sparse or was destroyed. b. Sites adjacent to meadows, muskegs, and/or lakes. c. Sites adjacent to immature stands not yet producing adequate seed. 4. Sites with lower productivity which presently have a plurality of cedar and there is a desire to retain a cedar component in the stand. 5. Stand compositions where there is a need for change, such as: stands planned for harvest or already harvested where the adjacent seed source contains a high incidence of fluted hemlock. 6. Stands needing reforestation for other considerations such as: a. Visually-sensitive areas in which immediate regeneration through artificial reforestation would lessen the visual impact. b. Using genetically improved stock to increase the genetic makeup of the treated stand. 2.4 - Third Year Stocking Guidelines and Certification Standards. Stands receiving final removal harvest shall be adequately restocked with trees within 5 years of such harvest. A certified silviculturist shall certify that a stand meets minimum stocking standards. The silvicultural prescription (approved by a certified silviculturist) should contain the minimum number, size, species composition, and distribution of regeneration to consider the stand adequately restocked. This can vary from stand to stand and is based upon management objectives and site conditions. Unless otherwise specified in the silvicultural prescription, the following stocking standards shall apply to all site indexes and productivity classes. 1. Minimum Number of Regeneration. Three hundred trees per acre. For areas regenerated artificially, this number is both planted (or seeded) and natural regeneration that meet the height requirements. 2. Minimum Size (height) of Regeneration. a. Four (4) inches for areas regenerated naturally or seeded. b. Four (4) to 14 inches for areas planted. 3. Species composition. Acceptable species are: white spruce, Lutz spruce, Sitka spruce, western hemlock, mountain hemlock, Pacific silver fir, Alaska yellowcedar, and/or western redcedar. Any combination of these species is acceptable. R-10 SUPPLEMENT 2409.17-99-3 EFFECTIVE 12/30/1999 2409.17,2 Page 6 of 9 4. Distribution. (Percent of 1/300th acre plots with at least one acceptable tree in it): a. Sixty (60) percent for areas regenerated naturally. b. Eighty (80) percent for areas regenerated artificially (planted or seeded). In addition, planted areas must have at least 85 percent survival based upon survival transects. For example: There is 85 percent survival on survival transects and 50 percent survival based upon plots. This indicates the area needs replanting or be closely monitored if it is thought that natural regeneration will be adequate to restock the site within the next two years. A stand that meets these minimum stocking standards can be certified as restocked at any time during the 5-year period. Unless otherwise specified in the silvicultural prescription, 1/300th acre circular plots shall be used to determine the number and distribution of regeneration. The number of plots to sample per unit is the lesser of: 1. One plot per acre, or 2. The number of plots needed to estimate the number of acceptable trees per acre within plus/minus 15 percent (at one standard deviation). In either case, above, a minimum of five plots will be taken per unit. In the case of surveying "groups" created by group selection, all groups harvested within the same harvest unit can be combined in determining the size of the area to be sampled. Plots shall be located such that a representative sample of the entire unit will be taken. More intensive sampling can be done on specific problem units to ensure the area is adequately stocked 2.5 - Plantation Survival Examination. Plantation survival check surveys are necessary to: 1. Determine the effects of planting or seeding by: a. Location b. Method and time of site preparation c. Time of planting or seeding d. Method of planting or seeding e. Size of planting stock f. Type or size of container R-10 SUPPLEMENT 2409.17-99-3 EFFECTIVE 12/30/1999 2409.17,2 Page 7 of 9 2. Determine the stocking level and condition of individual stands by: a. Location b. Composition Survival surveys may be made from a series of random plots or from fixed-check installations, usually stocked trees. The fixed-check installation is best for objective number 1, above. The random plot method is best for objective number 2, above. 2.5.1 - Recording. Each staked row used for determining survival of planted trees should be witnessed with a post or some other landmark and marked as follows: 1. Species 2. Age class of seedlings or containerized stock 3. Year planted 4. Staked row number 5. Azimuth 6. Number of stakes in row 7. Compartment and stand This information may be recorded on a 4-inch piece of heavy aluminum foil or some other appropriate medium, embossed with a ballpoint pen or some other marking device, and stapled to the post or witness landmark. Each sample tree should be marked with standard survey stakes placed one-foot from the seedling. Dipping the stake end in bright paint improves visibility. More permanent markers are required if observations are to continue beyond the standard three years. Metal or treated wood posts should then be used for witnessing and individual trees identified with pieces of fiberglass rod, reinforcement rod, or conduit tubing. 2.52 - Planting or Seeding Examination. Survival check surveys on planting or seeding will be made one and three years following treatment. 2.52a - First Growing Season. Survival check surveys after the first growing season will be made on trees randomly selected for study immediately after planting. They will be staked and marked as described previously and a simple map prepared to assist in relocation. The rows of staked trees should sample the following variables: R-10 SUPPLEMENT 2409.17-99-3 EFFECTIVE 12/30/1999 2409.17,2 Page 8 of 9 1. Aspect (north, south, east, and west) 2. Position on slope (upper 1/3, midslope, lower 1/3, draw bottom) 3. Site treatment (none, plowed, stripped, other) 4. Planting technique (bar, dibble, shovel, other) 5. Individual planters (cross crew direction) 6. Species A minimum of 25 trees will be used per sample. Sufficient staked trees will be used to provide survival information to a sampling error of plus/minus 10 percent at the 95 percent confidence level for each major seedling species planted on each Ranger District. However, no less than 50 trees will be sampled on plantations 10 acres or less in size and no less than 100 trees will be sampled on plantations that are larger than 10 acres in size. In the case of planting "groups" created by group selection, all groups planted within the same harvest unit can be combined in determining plantation size. More intensive sampling can be done for specific problem units or mortality cause determination. Survival percentages will be computed, and an estimate based on these data made of the ultimate stocking which may be expected from the planting. This evaluation provides an index of the performance of the planting stock and the effectiveness of site preparation and planting procedures. Subsequent programs can be strengthened on the basis of this information. Survival percent data will be stored in the Region's stand level database. Other data, including survival percentages, will be stored in the appropriate stand and compartment records. The third season examination will be scheduled at this time. 2.52b - Third Growing Season. The same staked trees that were examined at the end of the first growing season will be examined at the end of the third growing season. The percent survival will be computed and compared with that experienced the first season and with third season survival in similar situations. Survival percent data will be stored in the Region's stand level database. Other data, including survival percentages, will be stored in the appropriate stand and compartment records. Natural regeneration which has become established will be evaluated, as appropriate. The combined stocking of planted (or seeded) and naturally regenerated trees, as determined by plots, along with survival percentages, will provide the basis for scheduling future actions. Three basic situations, each requiring a different response, may be found: R-10 SUPPLEMENT 2409.17-99-3 EFFECTIVE 12/30/1999 2409.17,2 Page 9 of 9 1. "Certify" if the area is satisfactorily stocked. 2. "Fail" if the area is not satisfactorily stocked or satisfactory stocking is not anticipated within 1-2 growing seasons, based upon an evaluation by a silviculturist. Promptly report as a reforestation need arising from reforestation failure and schedule retreatment. 3. "Reevaluate" if the area is not satisfactorily stocked and based upon an evaluation by a silviculturist, satisfactory stocking will be achieved within 1-2 growing seasons. Reevaluate the area by the end of the following growing season. Upon reevaluation: certify the area is adequately stocked, declare a failure if it isn't adequately stocked and if it isn't anticipated it will be adequately stocked by the end of the next growing season; or schedule for reevaluation at the end of the next growing season if it is anticipated the area will be adequately stocked by that time.