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Epicormic sprout development in pruned coast redwood: pruning severity, genotype, and sprouting characteristics

Développement de rejets épicormiques sur des séquoias californiens : intensité de l’élagage, génotype, caractéristiques des rejets


  • • Young coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don.) Endl.) trees were pruned to various heights to examine the effect of pruning severity on epicormic sprouting. Seven separate stands were used with as many as six treatments per stand in coastal Humboldt County, California, USA.

  • • Epicormic sprout development was affected by pruning severity but primarily at the most severe pruning treatments that removed all but the branches in the top 15% of tree height. Less severe treatments produced sprouts but the number and size of these sprouts were comparable to unpruned trees.

  • • Natural clonal patterns were also used to explore patterns of sprouting between genotypes. Linear mixed-effects models were developed to predict sprouting frequency as a function of pruning severity while accounting for the nested data structure (i.e., stem sections sampled nested within genotypes within treatments within sites).

  • • Comparing variances attributed to each of these random effects indicated that at any level of pruning severity, differences in epicormic sprouting between genotypes and sites expressed soon after pruning had disappeared after six growing seasons. Epicormic branches were more common two years after pruning than six years indicating many branches were dying. Branches were more common in the middle of the pruned bole, possibly because of competition from basal sprouts and the expanding tree crown.


  • • De jeunes séquoias de Californie (Sequoia sempervirens (D. Don.) Endl.) ont été élagués à différentes hauteurs afin d’examiner l’effet de l’intensité de l’élagage sur les rejets épicormiques. Sept peuplements ont été utilisés avec jusqu’à six traitements par peuplement dans la région côtière du Comté de Humboldt en Californie (USA).

  • • Le développement des rejets épicormiques a été affecté par l’intensité de l’élagage, mais surtout par les traitements les plus sévères qui ont presque supprimé toutes les branches au sommet sur 15 % de la hauteur des arbres. Des traitements moins sévères ont produit des rejets, mais le nombre et la dimension de ces rejets étaient comparables à ceux des arbres non élagués.

  • • Des clones naturels ont également été utilisés pour explorer les modèles de rejet entre génotypes. Des modèles linéaires a effets mixtes ont été développés pour prédire la fréquence des rejets en fonction de l’intensité de l’élagage, en prenant en compte la structure imbriquée des données (c’est-à-dire, les sections du tronc échantillonnées, imbriquées avec les génotypes, les traitements et les stations).

  • • La comparaison des variances attribuées à chacun de ces effets aléatoires a indiqué qu’à tout niveau d’intensité d’élagage, les différences de rejets épicormiques entre les génotypes et les stations exprimées peu de temps après la taille avaient disparu au bout de six saisons de croissance.

  • • Les branches épicormiques ont été plus fréquentes deux ans après l’élagage que six ans plus tard indiquant que de nombreuses branches sont en train de mourir. Les branches ont été plus fréquentes dans le milieu de la partie du tronc élaguée, peut-être en raison de la concurrence des rejets de la base et de l’expansion du houppier.


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Correspondence to Kevin L. O’Hara.

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O’Hara, K.L., Berrill, JP. Epicormic sprout development in pruned coast redwood: pruning severity, genotype, and sprouting characteristics. Ann. For. Sci. 66, 409 (2009).

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  • Sequoia sempervirens
  • artificial pruning
  • epicormic sprouts
  • stand management


  • Sequoia sempervirens
  • élagage artificiel
  • rejets épicormiques
  • gestion de peuplements