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Shelterwood treatments fail to establish oak reproduction on mesic forest sites in West Virginia - 10-year results

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Year Published

1995

Publication

In: Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Fosbroke, Sandra L. C., ed. Proceedings, 10th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 1995 March 5-8; Morgantown, WV.: Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-197. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 375-387

Abstract

The difficulty in regenerating oak on mesic forest sites is well known throughout the eastern and central United States, southern Ontario and Quebec, Canada. Research has shown that the establishment and development of oak seedlings prior to overstory removal, commonly referred to as advanced regeneration, is crucial for retaining oak species in the regenerated stand. The shelterwood reproduction method has been suggested as a means of developing the advance regeneration needed. In 1983, various shelterwood treatments were evaluated on the Fernow Experimental Forest in north-central West Virginia. Three overstory and two understory densities resulting in six treatment combinations were studied. Advanced red oak (Quercus rubra) regeneration was not abundant before treatment over most of the study area. Both natural regeneration and planted northern red oak and white ash (Fraxinus americana) seedlings were evaluated. Growth of planted seedlings was not significant after 5 years, though survival of red oak was improved significantly by both overstory and understory treatments. Natural regeneration of red oak was inadequate to recommend further overstory removal, and did not differ significantly by treatment combination. Overstory treatments stimulated abundant sweet birch (Betula lenta) regeneration, reducing the chances of establishing oak in the future. These results suggest that forest managers in the central Appalachian region may be unable to establish or develop advance regeneration of sufficient size and quantity when attempting to regenerate oaks on mesic sites with the shelterwood method as implemented here.

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Citation

Schuler, Thomas M.; Miller, Gary W. 1995. Shelterwood treatments fail to establish oak reproduction on mesic forest sites in West Virginia - 10-year results. In: Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Fosbroke, Sandra L. C., ed. Proceedings, 10th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 1995 March 5-8; Morgantown, WV.: Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-197. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 375-387

Last updated on: October 21, 2007