Ten-year growth and epicormic sprouting response of western larch to pruning in western Montana

Kristen M. Waring, Kevin L. O'Hara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Western larch (Larix occidentalis Nutt.) is a fast-growing, deciduous conifer that is often managed for timber production in the inland Northwest. No previous study has documented the response of this species to artificial pruning. Trees pruned as part of a pruning cost study in 1992 were followed for 10 years to assess growth and epicormic sprout response. Trees were pruned to two heights: 2.4 and 5.5 m in three stands in western Montana. Epicormic sprouting occurred in a majority of trees in the first 2 years after pruning, but subsequently many sprouts died so that by year 10, only approximately 30% of trees had sprouts. Volume increment was adversely affected by more severe pruning among smaller trees pruned to the shorter lift. The volume increment of the trees that received the 5.5 m lift was generally unaffected, but trees receiving the 2.4 m lift were more sensitive to pruning. Initial tree diameter and residual crown length were important variables in predicting the 10-year volume increment in pruned trees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-232
Number of pages5
JournalWestern Journal of Applied Forestry
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Epicormic sprouting
  • Growth response
  • Larix occidentalis
  • Pruning
  • Stand management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Plant Science


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