Black spruce grows more slowly than many associated trees and shrubs, and mature trees in spruce-fir stands apparently respond better to release than white spruce and subalpine fir. Many intermediate and suppressed black spruce in swamp stands, however, die after heavy cutting
Clearcutting in strips or patches is generally considered to be the best silvicultural system for managing black spruce. Satisfactory reestablishment after clearcutting requires an adequate seed source and often some kind of site preparation. Uneven-aged or all-aged management is best applied on poor sites where stands are windfirm and have abundant layering.
Eastern dwarf-mistletoe causes serious problems for black spruce in the Lake States and eastern Canada. The spruce budworm and various other insects are damaging. Black spruce is easily killed by both ground and crown fires. Peatland stands have a low risk except during very dry periods
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