U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center


Date of this Version



Published in The Prairie Naturalist 28(4): December 1996.


In 1975, a quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) stand was clear-cut. Fencing and slash retention treatments designed to exclude or impede livestock-use were implemented. We evaluated the effects of these treatments on regeneration of aspen 19 years later. Leaving all slash was as effective as fencing for maintaining aspen regeneration and supported adequate density of saplings to meet recommendations for ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus). Shrub cover also was greater in treatments with slash and fencing. Unfenced treatments with slash less than 8 cm diameter retained, did not differ statistically from fenced treatments, but did not support adequate aspen density to meet ruffed grouse habitat requirements. Data from our study are limited in scope and we expect the density of aspen saplings will vary in response to these treatments, elsewhere. However, we recommend retaining all slash after clear-cutting aspen as an alternative to fencing for protecting the regenerating aspen suckers.