North American Prairie Conference


Date of this Version



Published in Prairie Pioneers: Ecology, History and Culture: Proceedings of the Eleventh North American Prairie Conference, August 7-11, 1988, Lincoln, Nebraska (Lincoln, NE 1989).


Two cutting treatments were tested for aspen control in two southern Wisconsin prairies: Pasque Flower Hill (PFH) , a steep hillside remnant, and Greene Prairie (GP), a restored prairie on sandy soil. The treatments, applied 25-26 June 1984, were: (1) A single cut at the base of the stem and (2) A cut that removed about one-third of the stem, followed 20-24 hours later by a basal cut. In 1986, both sites were burned in early spring, the usual management procedure for these prairies. At GP, aspen stem densities at the end of the experiment were similar in the control and both cut plots and were about 145% higher than at the start. Density increases at PFH were 171 % in the plot cut once and 188% in the plot cut twice. In the PFH control plot, stem density at the end was 85% that at the start, but the stems had grown large enough to prevent top kill by the prescribed bum and to shade the prairie species. It was concluded that cutting aspen in June is not worthwhile in prairies managed with dormant season prescribed bums, except to remove any stems not top killed by the bums.