Soils and Topography
The species is frequently associated with areas commonly called glades, characterized by thin rocky soils and intermittent rock outcrops; soil depth is difficult to determine because soil rock content and depth of rock fissures vary (11,16). Soils on the poorest glade sites are less than 30 cm (12 in) deep, medium sites are usually less than 61 cm (24 in) deep and have large crevices, and good sites have deeper soil. Arend and Collins (3) developed the site classification system shown in table 1.
Table 1- Site classes for natural stands of eastern redcedar in northern Arkansas Site Class Item I II III IV Soil character alluvial upland upland upland Soil depth, cm 61+ 61+ 30 to 58 less than 30 Soil depth, in 24+ 24+ 12 to 23 less than 12 Site index¹ Open stand, m 16.8 13.7 10.7 7.6 Open stand, ft 55 45 35 25 Closed stand, m 18.3 15.2 12.2 9.1 Closed stand, ft 60 50 40 30 ¹Adjusted to base age 50 years. Eastern redcedar grows on soils that vary widely in acidity. Soils found in natural stands range in pH value from 4.7 to 7.8. Although the species will grow on sites that are slightly alkaline, it is not particularly tolerant to higher pH levels. Eastern redcedar is, in fact, among the least alkali-tolerant of drought-hardy trees and shrubs. Soils in eastern redcedar stands tend to become neutral or slightly alkaline because the high calcium content of the tree's foliage can change the pH of the surface soil in a relatively short time. This condition also increases earthworm activity, with an increase in incorporation of organic matter, a lower volume weight, and an increase in pore volume and infiltration rate (11,15).
Eastern redcedar grows on ridgetops, varying slopes, and flat land and is frequently found on dry, exposed sites and abandoned fields. This aspect also influences eastern redcedar development. In the western part of its range, the species may be found on north-facing slopes and along streambanks where there is some protection from high temperatures and drought. Although the most desirable elevation is not clearly delineated, eastern redcedar is found most often growing between 30 m (100 ft) and 1070 m (3,500 ft). It is notably absent below the 30 m (100 ft) elevation zone in the southern and eastern parts of the species range (15,27).
- Burns, Russell M., and Barbara H. Honkala, technical coordinators. 1990. Silvics of North America: 1. Conifers; 2. Hardwoods. Agriculture Handbook 654 (Supersedes Agriculture Handbook 271,Silvics of Forest Trees of the United States, 1965). U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, DC. vol.2, 877 pp. http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/silvics_manual/table_of_contents.htm
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