First-year survival and growth of bottomland oak species following intensive establishment proceduresThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Oak seedlings are annually planted on thousands of acres in the South. While the majority of these seedlings are planted for timber production, there is increasing interest in oak establishment for mast production. In this study, seedlings of nine oak species were grown under a protocol developed by Dr. Paul Kormanik designed to produce an “enhanced” seedling of larger above-ground parameters and well-developed roots. These seedlings were planted by non-forestry technicians at seven locations across Mississippi using a 20 feet by 20 feet spacing. Seedlings were planted in augered holes, and a slowrelease fertilizer was added at planting. Pre-emergent competition control was applied by Mississippi State University personnel and post-emergent competition control was to be applied during the first growing season by tree planting personnel. Initial above-ground height and groundline diameter (GLD) were recorded prior to the onset of growth and again in November, 2004. Survival and first-year growth results for all species indicated that problems had been encountered during plantation establishment. Further research revealed that seedling handling and some post-emergent competition control had been of undesirable quality. Summary of observations indicate that even the highest-quality seedlings will perform poorly if not handled properly.