Date of Award

Spring 2012

Project Type


Program or Major

Natural Resources: Forestry

Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Theodore E Howard


Whole-tree harvesting is widely used in the northeastern United States to supply biomass energy plants with fuel, but questions remain regarding its long-term sustainability. To assess its effects on the northern hardwood forests that make up a significant portion of northern New England, we conducted two regeneration surveys in 2010 and 2011 covering thirty-three small clearcuts. We measured whole-tree (WTH) and conventionally harvested (CH) sites in New Hampshire and Maine, and compared the productivity and species composition of the 10-14 year old regeneration. No significant difference was observed in height, diameter or calculated biomass of stems > 2m in height. Despite several weak patterns in individual species abundance, overall species composition did not significantly vary between WTH and CH sites. We conclude that no significant effects of residue removal from whole-tree harvesting are observed within our sample of northern hardwood sites as this point in their stand development.