Brief by Allen Best
Forests – March 2008 – Colorado Central Magazine
The U.S. Forest Service is hoping to cut about 200 acres of low-elevation aspen trees that appear to be dying out, with the hope that the cutting will provoke the aspen trees to generate root-based generation, called suckers
The aspen trees are old, and so their dying is not a surprise. But what is happening in the San Juans, and elsewhere in the West, is that aspen trees are not regenerating as is often expected. This particular area is about 45 miles air miles northwest of Telluride, on the Uncompahgre Plateau.
“Because aspen regenerates primarily through root suckering, some managers and scientists feel that clear-cutting before sudden decline advances too far is the best way to regenerate a new stand,” said a press release.