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192   COMMISS10N OF CONSERVATION

The area marked " oak barrens" on the map consists of about 1,200 acres. It is situated in the " foothills " of the Blue mountains, and consists of bare ridges and deep gullies, the latter often only a few yards across and 15 yards to 25 yards deep. The ridges are covered with stunted oak trees, growing mostly in the crevices of the rocks, while the gullies are filled with poplar. Occasional stumps in the gullies indicate that pines of large size once grew there. The area has been burned several times, but it is so evidently a natural barren that it has been excluded from consideration of the burned areas.

GROWTH STUDIES

To secure data upon which to base an estimate of the financial losses involved in the fires, some growth studies were undertaken.

In the case of the pines it was found that their rate of growth was so variable that, to secure a satisfactory statement, a larger number would have had to be analyzed than time permitted and the object in view would have warranted. Moreover, reliable tables already 'exist for these species, and these have been used. The rate of growth of poplar has, however, been especially studied.

Growth studies of poplar were made in three places: In lot 15, concession II, and lot 25, concession III, in Methuen; also in lot 2, con-cession III, in Burleigh. The area on which the trees grew was of second quality for the locality, and was selected because it represented the average condition of the region as a whole. The soil would be classed as sand, and its depth was from 8 to 12 inches. The composition of the soil may be judged by the average of four samples, given below, which were taken from the areas where the growth studies were made.

COMPOSITION

PER CENT

Fine   gravel    

16.3

Coarse sand    

24.5

Medium sand    

10.6

Fine sand    

18.1

Very fine sand    

8.2

Clay    

13.9

Silt    

4.8

Organic matter    

3.6

Total    

100.0

In the table given on page 193 six per cent of the trees included are the large-toothed aspen. The growth of these was figured separately, but as practically no difference in the rate of growth from the trembling aspen was to be ascertained, and since for commercial purposes the two species are not distinguished, it was thought best


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