Some timely suggestions for the owners of woodlots in New England


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Some timely suggestions for the owners of woodlots in New England
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United States -- Bureau of Entomology
Mosher, Franklin Herbert
Clement, G. E ( George Edwards ), b. 1877
United States -- Dept. of Agriculture
United States -- Bureau of Entomology
United States -- Government Printing Office
Govt. Print. Off. ( Washington )
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Resource Identifier:
aleph - 29366922
oclc - 28141094
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Full Text

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L '-'--OS-TOR'y

Entomologist and Chief of Bureau.




F. H. MOSHER, Entomological Assistant,
G. E. CLEMENT, Assistant in Forest Management, Gipsy Moth and
Broumwn-tail Moth Investigations.



issued ----, 1917.

L. 0. HOW ARD, Entomologist and Chief of Bureau.

By F. H. MOSHER, Entomological Assistant, and G. E. CLEMENT, Assistant in Forest
Management, Gipsy Moth and Brown-tail Moth i 1t;qi'011 .
Farmers and other woodlot owners in New England have, at the
present time, an unusual opportunity not only to realize appreciable
sums from their timber but also to better the condition of their
woodlands and lessen the liability of their being attacked by the
gipsy moth. Because of the increased demand for cordwood it is
now possible to dispose of classes of material not ordinarily mer-
chantable, and while labor is scarce and high priced the increased
cost of getting out cordwood, it is believed, will be offset by the
higher value of the wood. For these reasons timber owners, by
putting into effect a few simple rules regarding the handling of their
timber, will often be able to accomplish all the following objects at
one time:
First. A large amount of low-grade wood can be disposed of to the
advantage of the owner.
Second. A better class of trees with improved growing conditions
will be provided by the removal of inferior trees now standing.
Th ird. The numbers of gipsy moths may be reduced by the removal
of those trees of which they are particularly fond and upon which
they thrive particularly well.
In cutting cordwood heretofore, the practice generally has been
to cut clean. Where most of the trees on an area are mature, dead,
dying, or defective, a continuation of this practice is to be recom-
mended, but where a large number of young trees are standing it is
often preferable to thin judiciously. Such thinning should be based
on several considerations, among which are:
1. All i]-ad, dying, and defective trees should be cut to make room for live trees,
and in tiie case of dying trees, to check the development of injurious insects which
may treei in them.


2. .'eries, of tree' having the hight-st commercial value should be given every
op;["ri unity to gr,,w and develop well. All oil-r trees interfering with their growth
and development slioiiulid b: removed
3. M,,fi tre to grow to the befst advantage reed a large amount of light. A thin-
ning should aim to spare the trees so that each individual shall have a proper amount
of light.
4. The foliage uf certain si< ie-s of tree is mome desired by gipey moths than that
of other species. The rerin,val of such ees may often afford relief from these peata.
5. The price of liinil(.r is rising, and the value of wiids of gotii quality will rise
(i'rrPspi-ndinglv. Tliiiinug may often be a great help in the production of such
wi..'d.. besides in' n-aing the rate of growth
6. ('uLtIlii clean is injuriuus to forest soil. and al''ng tirnm tust elapse before another
cut can be grnwlij Sinm c no one can prt-di' i how long war conditions will last, it
seems advisable to cut gradually, removing the poorest trees first and saving the
better ones fur higher prices.
There are 75 species of native and naturalized trees growing in
this region. Rualizin, their varying liability to gipsy-moth attack,
the Burvau of Enti)iii.ll,,y has c,,idlucted extensive laboratory
experiments for a series of years to determine the susceptibility of
each of these species. It has been found that thie small caterpillars
will not feed on certain kinds if foliage, although they may seriously
injure the same trees after hv'r- tininrg we irlv full grown. Other
trees are eaten freely by caterpillars uf all size,\ while some foliage
is never altacked.
All of the ltburaitry oxperimernts were -i upplrnented by extensive
observations on the feeding,. of the cuterpillirs in the field, and from
the data secured the forest tre, have been grouped in the following
CLASS I.-Species that are favored fuud of rpl,.-i',,,,t lart- in all heir tagea.
Ash, Mountain. "ak, Pin.
Aspen. Oak. Post.
A-'p.n. Larve-tooth. Oak, Red.
Balm -,f .ile-ad. Olak. ecdrlet.
Ba -,-w, od. Oak. Scrub.
Bee-li Oak. Swamp white.
Birch. Gray. Oak, White.
Birch, Paper. Service Berry.
Bir.h. River. Sumac, Dwarf.
B'-ixelder Sumac, Siaghom.
Oak, Black. Tamarack.
Oak, Bur Willow, Glaucous.
Oak, Chestnut. Witch I lazel.

CLASS II.-Sptecic-s that are favoredfood for ipi..-i-mth lam,.a after the earlier larva stages.
Chestnut. Pine. White.
Hemloc'k. Spruce. Black.
~1,ii. I'lch- Spruce. Red.
P'ii-, lted. Spruce, White.


CLAss II.- 1;Species that are not prlirularlit favored, but upon which a small propor-
tion of the gipsy-moth larva may develop.
Beech, Blue. Hickory, Bitternut.
Birch, Black. Hickory, Mocker-nut.
Birch, Yellow. Hickory, Pigrmii
Cherry, Black. Hickory, Sh.,luark.
Cherry, Choke. Hop Hornbeam.
Cherry, Wild red. Maple, Red.
Cottonwood. Maple, Silver.
Elm, American. Maple, Sugar.
Elm, Slippery. Poplar, Silver.
Gum, Black. Sassafras.
CLASS IV.--Species that are unfavored food for gipsil-moth larvae.
Arborvitm. Laurel, Mountain.
Ash, Black. Locust, Black.
Ash, Red. Locust, Honey.
Ash, White. Maple, Mountain.
Balsam Fir. Maple, Striped.
Butternut. Mulberry, Red.
Cedar, Red. Sheepberry.
Cedar. White. Sycamore.
Dogwood, Flowering. Tulip.
Hackberry. Walnut. Black.
Holly. American.
The gipsy moth is such a serious pest over a large portion of New
England that the varying extent to which it feeds on trees of different
species is a very important factor in determining what trees shall
be removed and what ones preserved in thinning. Other factors
affecting such determination are the commercial value, rapidity of
growth, and adaptability to different soil conditions of different
species of trees. With these several factors and 75 species of trees
occurring in a multitude of combinations, it can be seen how impos-
sible it is to outline any plan of thinning which will be applicable in
all cases. An attempt is made here, however, to indicate in a general
way some of the qualities of each species which must be considered
in thinning.
Beginning with Class I of the foregoing classification, it is found to
be composed of 26 species which are favored as food by gipsy-moth
larvae. Ten of these species, namely, mountain ash, gray birch, river
birch, boxdelder, scrub oak, service berry, dwarf sumac, sltagli',rn sumac,
glaucous wullow, and witch hazel are of little commercial value and
should be removed.
Ten of tlie species in this class are oaks, including the scrub oak
just. mentioned. Oaks growing on light soils and rocky ridges are
usually not very vigorou., grow slowly, and suffer severely from
gipsy-molth attack.


'l'lhe lir i,ak. ch(sti7ut oak, pin oak, post oak, and swamp white oak
are ,_',Il,,'allyv more or lss rare and of restricted local occurrence in
iin- rIgiii, so that they have no great. commercial importance.
Owing to their great susceptibility to moth attack these trees should
be cut in eV rv cse where the% are interfering with the growth of
better Ir-le. or wl.-re there is an opportunity to replace them with
trees not so liable to mnioth attack.
The white oalk re:,ih-., the northern limit of its range in the gipsy-
niothli infested r.gii,. yet it is one of the i(,4t aibuncdhnt of the oaks.
Its f,,liag, seems to be particularly desired by thle gipsy moth, and it
grows very slowly. For thee reasons it is not a desirable type for
growth in this rcgnin.
The ii, lirl.k, and scarlet oaks grow well and produce a valuable
class of material. 'lhiire vNung, vigorous trees of these species occur
on g their lizililitY to gipsy-nmuth attack, providing that. they are not
interlerilg with the growth of more valuutbleC trees.
A.-sii I. lari -ti,,ith, O,. and balm 'f il ,,td can not tolerate shade,
and they grow well oildv where they have free access to plenty of
light. Scattered specimens in mixed wuod., may well ho cut. but
pure -lainds, which occur occasionally, may be left to mature when
they are in demand for pulp or excelsior.
BasswVood occurs veny much scattered in this region and grows to
advantage only on the best of sites. It may well be eliminated Irum
all others.
Bt (ch is more abundant in tlie northern than in the southern
portion of the region. It. grows -lu.\lv and is likely to become defec-
tive before maturity. It is p'rlimlp- the least liialile t, damage by the
gipv moth of any of the Class I trees. It is an excellent fuel and
should be cut heavily when in the way (of father growing and more
valuliable trees.
Paper birch demands a large amount of light to grow well andi is not
abumnliiit in mixed stands. h\\'lin it occurs in Iliuridance. it is in
g1,,id demand for spool and novelty woI)ud. It make.- an excellent.
fuel. and scattered M-lie iiCHim could hften ihe cut to the advantage of
trees to be left.
Taimarack is n,,wlire :himinl:iit in the infe-ted region. Whenii dry
it makes excellent liMliM_: and a liot fire for a Thort time.
TILE.Vi'TMKENT Class' II is composed of eiglit .peciL1i7 of trees on which gtpsy-nmtlh
<'.1 rlll. r- inl their earliest -t;L:, di, not fet'l. but Ul]1nj which tlheV
do feed in their later .ta.,_,-L I llirlve. if -tl- Pi iip,-edl o(f Ihi-e
species have in their \Ni iitv no 1 linti- upon whilhi tlio young (cater-


pillars can feed, the stands may safely be considered immune from
attack. Trees of this class may be grown safely in mixture with trees
of Class I'V.
Stands composed l;ir._ely of one or more of the species of this class
can be made immune from gip-sy moth attack blv reinoving the trees
which may provide the youting larvie with food. There are many
places where a col-idhrIdeble amount of cordwood could be cut most
advantageously with this object in view.
Great care should be taken to protect and preserve young white
pine and rcd pine, especially when they occur on poor soils. TI'ey
often grow well on such soils, and if they are present the associated
hardwoods which do not grow well on such sites, and which may be
subject to caterpillar attack, may be cut beneficially. Red pine is
not affected by the white-pine blister rut, which is spri-eading very
slowly among the white pines. If young white pines are given a fair
chance to grow, they will probably reach maturity before being
seriously affected by the rust.
Chestnut grows well and yields a valuable product, but unfortu-
nately is subject to attacks of the chestnut blight. It makes a poor
grade of fuel, but with a shortage of the better grades an opportunity
doubtless will be afforded for the disposal of a considerable amount
of this species.

Class III is composed of 20 species which are not particularly
favored by gipsy moths, but upon which a small proportion of the
larve may develop. Stands composed of any trees of this class
alone or mixed with trees of Class IV, but containing no trees of
('lass I, would maintain only slight infestations and rarely, if ever,
would be defoliated.
Blue beech, choke cAir ry, wild red cherry, hop hornbeam, and sassafras
have no particular commercial value ordinarily and could well be con-
verted into cordwood at this time.
Black cherry has considerable commercial value, but its occurrence
is generally rare. A ,,iric,, elm and slippery elm are also generally
scattered. Unless growing in very good soil, these trees could well be
cut. Cottonwood, bitternut hickory, black gum, silver maple, and silver
poplar are rare. Bitternut hickory makes very good fuel, but silver
inaiple is not -o good. The cutting or preservation of these species
will have little effect in any respect.
The remaining trees of this class, iiamely, black and '/dl,,,' birches,
iockernut, pignut, and ..iagbark h ic'korin.-, and red and .ugoar maples
can be grown in comparative safety as far as the -ip.-y moth is con-
cerned. The yellow birch, hickories, and sugar maple make the best


of fuel, but they also produce excellent grades of lumber. With fuad..
of this class in great demand, there will be a temptation to cut young.
-=- trees of this hp.cies. Dead, dying, and defective trees may well be '
', removed now, but young and vigorous trees should be left to grow to
S-- g larger and hence more valuable sizesi.
S ClaLs-sI is comilpsed o(f 21 species of trees on which the gipsy moth
does not feed, or if it dons, the amount is so slight as to be entirely
-'- tegligilble. St alds colmpoped of trees of this group alone or combined
-~~1 with trees of (Class II need cause no anxiety whatever as far as gipsy-
moth attack is concerned. 'lowv'ering dogwood, mountain laurd,
mountain ,a ,iI,. 't,'njtl ma hlr, and sht, perry have little or no com-
miercial value iloilly, and if large enough could well be cut for cord-
wood at this time.
Ar,,ri;t1, h.ack ash, and white cedar occur usually in or near
swa inps. Tliey need no tonidehration as fuel.
Butte rn ut, rl cedar, ir,,u.,t. honey locust, and sycamoree all require a
large amount of liglht, for which reason they occur rarely in mixed
woods, arid they are of litilh importance as fuel.
Red a,'. tlackberri., A.mlen ,rc #,,lly, rd mniulberry, tulip, and black
walnut are so rare as to require little consideration.
In this region of degenevrate woods, cuttings or thinnings among
vouing trees should almost always he made with a view to improving
the quality of the trees Itft. or the future growth. This means that
woodland should be kept fully stocked, hut, not crowded, with
vigorous trees of the most valuable species. If inferior trees are cut
out. caire should be taken to protect seedlings and saplings of better
s),.rcie, which maYv be on the, ground, for otherwise, in the case of
deciduous trees, sprouts will ,grow vigcrouslv, and the same old con-
ditions will reappearr, Vhen yoting growth of desirable species is not
present, and no pr),vi-ion van be made for introducing better trees, it
may often Ie. 1btteIr to leave i lie existing sland than to cut it.
It is realized Ihit the foregtoiing suggest ions can serve only in a very
general way as a guide 1 for thiinning, but it is the desire of the Bureau
of Enlioinologv of the U'nited States Department of Agriculture to aid
the woodland ownve, of tilli region ill every possible way, and the
writers would lie pleased as far as possible to confer with any owner
in this region who is s eriously interested and will apply to them in
person or by letter at Bureau of Entomology office, 964 Main Street,
Mtlhruc Highlands, Mass.