The role of large container seedlings in afforesting oaks in bottomlandsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
We planted large container (RPM®) and 1-0 bareroot seedlings of pin oak (Quercus palustris Muenchh.) and swamp white oak (Q. bicolor Willd.) in crop fields in the Missouri River floodplain. We also evaluated the benefits of soil mounding and a grass (Agrostis gigantea Roth) cover crop. RPM®) oak seedlings had significantly greater survival and basal diameter increment after 3 years than bareroot seedlings. RPM®) trees lost significantly more height during the first 3 years than bareroot seedlings due to rabbit herbivory, which was substantially greater in the natural vegetation than the redtop grass fields. Oak seedlings in redtop grass cover grew substantially more in diameter and height than oaks competing with natural vegetation. Soil mounding had no significant effect on oak survival or growth. Swamp white oak RPM®) seedlings produced acorns annually the first 4 years. Planting large container seedlings in redtop grass improved early oak regeneration success and rapidly restored acorn production.