Page images

undiscolored coarse granules of impure quartz sand which predominate.

In small local areas (referred to in the plot descriptions as "barren areas") near the western border of the tract, expecially in Plots 16, 44 and 45, the soil is somewhat coarser than is the rule, and contains so little silt and clay that it has even less coherence than usual. On such areas all plant growth is either much stunted or is altogether lacking. The change from these areas to those that support a normal plant growth is very abrupt. Trees planted on the sterile spots either grow very slowly or do not survive at all. Red pine seems to make a little better growth on them than does white, but the needles of both are yellow and in general the trees are crooked and sickly.

On the higher ground in the northeastern portion of the tract, especially in Plots 68 and 69 and in the northern portions of Plots 59 and 60, the soil is finer in texture consisting of about 7 inches of medium brown loamy sand surface soil, with a yellow subsoil of a similar texture to a depth of about 242 feet overlying the unweathered glacial till. The latter is made up largely of a mass of red shale and sandstone rock fragments of moderate size (less than 6 inches in diameter), with a considerable admixture of grayish sand and fine gravel. This soil type was identified in the 1899 Bureau of Soils Survey as "Enfield Sandy Loam" but this name was changed to “Manchester Fine Sand” in U. S. Bureau of Soils Bulletin 96.

The natural forest growth of the region is inferior hardwoods (mostly grey birch and oaks) and pitch pine, with some chestnut and white pine. The latter species is the only one to make good growth although the chestnut did well before it was attacked by the blight. Land abandoned for agriculture first seeds in to broom sedge and similar plants, followed by grey birch and pitch pine. Later stages of reversion show a diminution of grey birch and an increase of inferior oaks and pitch pine, with some white pine coming in.

The plantations were begun in 1901 on the present tract and in 1902 on another known as Mundy Hollow. The latter was abandoned after a few years. The plans were made for the first Forester of the Station, Mr. Walter Mulford, by the U. S. Forest Service, and comprised an elaborate series of experiments in artificial regeneration of hardwoods and conifers by seeding and planting. The tract was divided up into plots varying in size from 44 acre to 6 acres in area, a large percentage of them averaging about

Wherever feasible, the plots were laid off as rectangles. Numerous methods were tried out. These are described later under individual plots, insofar as the results of these methods are now present. Many of the earlier experiments were complete failures and in such cases no specific reference is made to them in this publication but the reader is referred to Reports of the Station for the years 1906, 1907 and 1912.

Some method of artificial regeneration has been undertaken nearly every year since the plantations were started, the amount varying with the funds available, until at present practically the entire tract is under some kind of forest cover.

For a number of years a nursery was operated in connection with the tract but this practice was abandoned and stock procured either from the Station nursery at Mt. Carmel or by purchase from commercial nurseries.

The plantations have always been used as a field laboratory for the study of insects and fungi by the Entomological and Botanical Departments of the Station, and since 1919 as an object of field study by students from the Yale School of Forestry, who have laid off sample plots and made thinnings in some of the older stands. This work is recorded under individual plots.

The tract has been under the general oversight of a local resident since its inception. Mr. Judson Leonard had charge from 1901 to 1909; Mr. Henry Palmer, from 1909 to 1920. Mr. Frederick M. Snow, the present superintendent, lives near the end of the Rainbow trolley line and about 12 mile from the plantations. He will be glad to aid visitors in every way possible. Forestry operations have so far consisted of planting, cleaning, a small amount of thinning and control of the white pine weevil. Such work has been done either by the local superintendent, by members of the staff of the Forestry Department or by students from the Yale School of Forestry.

As yet the tract has not produced sufficient revenue to pay expenses, although carrying charges have been considerably lessened by the sale of cordwood from cleanings, of some chestnut and large pitch pine for saw-logs, of overtopped spruce for Christmas trees and of Mugho pine for ornamental purposes. In time the tract as a whole should become nearly self-supporting although it will probably never be wholly so.

Only a small amount of planting is needed to bring the entire tract under a forest cover. Future operations will consist of thinning the older stands as they need it, of weevil control, of cleanings and other improvement cuttings, of pruning experiments, of experiments in the most effective methods of cutting hardwoods to obviate rapid sprouting, etc.

The amount of damage from various causes has been relatively small. A rather elaborate system of exterior and interior fire lines, which are harrowed frequently, has been instrumental in keeping the burned area under 6 acres during the last 22 years. Rodents kept the red oak cut back so that experiments with this species are almost a complete failure. Several species of insects have proved troublesome but in only one case has an insect destroyed the entire value of an experiment. The locust borer, Cyllene robiniae, mined the trunks and limbs of the black locust so severely that the experiments with this species have been abandoned. The insect requiring the most work to control is the white pine weevil, Pissodes strobi, which attacks the terminal shoot of white pine, Japanese red pine, Mugho pine and Norway spruce, thus deforming the stem. White pine is most severely attacked, followed by the others in the order named. Cutting and burning the infested leaders is the most practical method of control. This work is needed annually. Norway spruce seems to recover better from the injury than do the pines.

The spruce gall, Chermes abietes, has made much of the Norway spruce unsightly and has probably impaired the growth to some extent although no stunting is apparent and no trees have been killed. The chestnut blight, Endothia parasitica, persistently kills back the chestnut trees used in the early experiments. Two rusts have also been found on different species of pines. One, Peridermium cerebrum, found on jack pine, has for its alternate host, various species of oaks. This rust was evidently brought in from Michigan on the planting stock and no new outbreaks have been found. The other rust, Peridermium pyriforme, which has for alternate hosts two species of toadflax, Comandra pallida and C. umbellata, has been found on Austrian, Scotch and bull pine. On the first two species it does not seem to have done much damage beyond deforming a few trees. The bull pine, however, seems more susceptible. A few trees die from the disease each year and indications are that the species will eventually be killed out here.

DESCRIPTION OF PLOTS. Following is a description of the seventy plots which make up the tract. A preliminary survey was made by Mr. S. E. Parker in March, 1923 and all measurements and counts are as of that date unless otherwise noted. Heights were taken with a 10 foot pole or with a Faustmann hypsometer, and diameters with a diameter tape.

Plot 1. Exotic conifers. Area about .7 acre. Planted in the spring of 1907 by sections as follows: east side, Austrian pine, 2 year seedlings, spaced 5 x 5 feet; center, European larch, 2 year seedlings, 5 x 6 feet; west side, Scotch pine, 2 year seedlings, 6 x 6 feet. In 1911 a fire destroyed about 23 of the plot and in 1913 the blanks were filled with Douglas fir, 7 year transplants and Chinese arbor-vitae, 6 year transplants. Two partial rows of Japanese red pine planted about 1913 occur on the west side of the plot. A description of this species under Plot 5 will cover this part of Plot 1. The arbor-vitae was a complete failure and the fir, coming from Pacific Coast seed, was not hardy and is represented by a few stunted trees. The failure of these two species has left the stand quite open and irregular although some native pitch pine helps to increase the density. Scotch pine has made the best growth, averaging 23 feet tall and 3 inches in diameter. The

trees are fairly uniform in size but are somewhat crooked. Austrian pine has done fairly well, averaging 9 feet tall and 1.4 inches in diameter. The larch averages 1 foot taller than the Austrian pine but individuals vary greatly, some equaling the Scotch pine in height while others are mere shrubs. The plot was cleaned by lopping hardwood brush in 1919. Several individuals of Scotch and Austrian pine infected with Peridermium pyriforme (See page 106) were removed in 1910.

Plot 2. White pine. Area .8 acre. Planted in the spring of 1907 with 2 year seedlings, spaced 6 x 6,5 x 5, 4 x 4, and 3 x 3 feet. In 1911 a fire destroyed the north end of the plot including the 4 x 4 and 3 x 3 foot spacings and in the spring of 1913 blanks were filled with 8 year white pine transplants spaced 5 x 5 feet, thereby destroying the value of the original experiment in different spacings. On the unburned south end only about ten per cent of the trees are missing and the stand is just closing. Only a few trees have any dead limbs. The average size on the 6 x 6 foot spacing is height 13 feet, diameter 2.0 inches and on the 5 x 5 foot, height 9 feet; diameter 1.9 inches. The 1913 planting averages 5.5 feet high but is very open and irregular owing to the failure of about 50% of the trees. Weevil damage (See page 106) amounts to 25% for the plot as a whole. A more recent fire (1923) destroyed about 13 of the 1913 planting. The plot was cleaned by lopping birch in 1919. Plot 3. Pitch pine. Area 1.3 acres.

In 1902 seed sown on cultivated strips 12 feet wide and 4 feet apart as follows: on the south half at the rate of 2 pounds per acre and on the north half at the rate of 1 pound per acre.

The seed was brushed in. On the south half a very dense stand resulted. Trees average 1 foot apart in the rows, 17 feet in height and 2 inches in diameter, and have dead limbs for 8 feet above ground. About 60% of the trees have died from crowding. The stand on the north half is not so dense. Trees average 6 feet apart in the rows, 15 feet in height and 3 inches in diameter, and have dead limbs for 3 feet above ground. Very few trees have died from crowding. Spacing in the rows is not uniform and the stand on both sections is very uneven, especially on the north half but here gaps are being filled by natural seeding. Several trees badly infected with Peridermium pyriforme were removed in 1910. On both sections the trees have the poor form characteristic of pitch pine in this region. Compare with Plot 49.

Plot 4. White pine-Red oak-Scotch pine. Area .7 acre. Planted in the spring of 1904 with red oak, 3 acorns in a hole, and white pine 2 year seedlings, spacing 6 x 6 feet, a solid row of oak alternating with a row of oak and pine mixed.' Losses were small for the first three years. Since then rodents have kept the oak cut back so that at present only 40 % of them are living and of these only 15% have made even fair growth. However, an occasional individual has done nearly as well as the pine showing that the species will grow on poor soil if not attacked by rodents. About 1913, gaps caused by failure in the oak on the south end of the plot were filled with Scotch pine; the north end remains unfilled, leaving the white pine spaced 12 x 12 feet. With this wide spacing the white pine is thick boled, badly deformed by weevil and shows dead branches for only 3-4 feet. Where Scotch pine has been used it has closed the stand and is approximating the white pine in height. It has dead branches for 3-4 feet above ground but it has not yet influenced the pruning of the white pine growing with it. Average sizes: heights, --white pine, 19 feet; red oak, 7 feet and Scotch pine, 16 feet: diameters, -white pine, 4.5 inches; red oak, 1.0 inch and Scotch pine, 3.0 inches. The north end of this plot may be compared with Plots 48 and 51 where red oak and white pine were planted together but with different arrangement of species and the south end with Plots 35, 36 and 37 where Scotch pine has been used as a filler in older white pine plantations..

Plot 5. Japanese red pine and White pine. Area 1.4 acres. Planted in the spring of 1910 with Japanese red pine 2 year seedlings, spaced 6 x 6 feet. The following summer was very dry and a 50% loss resulted. Blanks were filled in the spring of 1911 with 3 year transplants of the same species. Further failures resulted and in 1913 blanks were filled with white pine 4 year transplants. The present stand is practically complete and is made up of 33 Japanese red and white pine. The plot is just about to close. It has been kept free of hardwood competition and is therefore open grown. The Japanese red pine shows a 10% damage by weevil as compared with 45% for the white pine. The latter averages 8 feet in height and the former 7 feet. The Japanese red pine does not appear to be a good tree to plant in the open because of its tendency to divide at the base into many stems. In the spring of 1924 all leaders, except one, were removed from each Japanese red pine in an attempt to make this species produce one good stem. The results of this work are not yet apparent but the plot may be compared with Plot 52 where this tree has been grown under similar conditions without reducing the number of leaders. The plot may also be compared with Plot 19 where the species was grown for about 10 years under a dense shade of birch. Japanese red pine has borne cones very prolifically for a number of years and many seedlings up to 10 inches tall are growing in the openings.

Plot 6. Western yellow (bull) pine and White pine. Area 2.7 acres.

Planted in the spring of 1908 with bull pine 2 year seedlings, spaced 5 x 5 feet. Losses up to 1912 had amounted to 45% and in 1912 and 1913 blanks were filled with 4 year white pine transplants. Further losses have occurred and these have

« PreviousContinue »