Establishment and Growth of Cherrybark Oak Seedlings Underplanted Beneath a Partial Overstory in a Minor Bottom of Southwestern Arkansas: First Year Results
Advance regeneration is frequently inadequate to sufficiently restock the oak component of many bottomland stands, especially on productive sites with high levels of competition. We initiated a study near Beime, AR to examine the effects of pre-plant control of Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica Thunberg) and seedling quality on establishment success and vigor of oak reproduction beneath a partial canopy. Nine, 2-acre plots were delineated in the stand that was harvested to a residual stocking level of 30 percent in the fall of 1996. Honeysuckle pre-plant control treatments randomly applied to the nine plots were an Escort application in the spring of 1997, an Escort application in the late summer of 1997, and a control (no herbicide application). In 1998, 1-0 cherrybark oak (Quercus pagoda Raf.) seedlings were planted at a 12ft x 12ft spacing in each treatment plot. One-half of each treatment plot received seedlings with four or more lateral roots >0.04 in. diameter, while the other half of each plot received seedlings with fewer than four lateral roots > 0.04 in. The spring application of Escort provided effective control against Japanese honeysuckle, thereby producing potentially promising conditions for oak seedling growth and development. First-year seedling survival and growth did not respond to honeysuckle control treatments. Survival was not related to seedling quality, and first-year differences in seedling size were attributed to initial size differences in stock types.