Simulated Cattle Injury to Planted Slash Pine: Defoliation

Clifford E. Lewis
1980 Journal of range management  
Animals sometimes injure trees by eating the leaves. Little is known about the amount of removal required to harm survival and growth, particularly of southern pines. To simulate a single defoliation by livestock or wildlife, needles of slash pine were hand clipped once at 6, 18, and 30 months after planting. Survival and height growth were measured for six growing seasons after removing 0, 25, 50, 75, and 100% of the foliage. Survival was excellent except when 100% of the needles were removed
more » ... edles were removed 6 months after planting. Reductions in rate of height growth occurred only with the most severe levels of defoliation and were still apparent for 3 years after treatment. Even so, the greatest accumulated loss in height was less than 1 m over the 6-year period. Cattle and other animals sometime eat the foliage of trees, even resinous pine needles. However, Cassady et al. (1955) and Pearson (1976) observed that cattle rarely graze pine The author is principal range scientist, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station,
doi:10.2307/3897880 fatcat:7axr6ltrw5djtolvubjuotn6du