Species selection trials and silvicultural techniques for the restoration of bottomland hardwood forests - a 10 year reviewThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
From 1992 to 1994, species trials were initiated in the Fourmile Branch delta to investigate the best methods of re-establishing tree species in a severely disturbed, thermally affected stream delta. Treatments examined included planting stock type, habitat, tree shelters, root pruning, and competition controls. Survival of most species, as determined in 1994 or 1996 and 2003, changed little over the past decade and was not strongly affected by the treatments within a trial, except for root pruning. Trees in many treatments have grown tremendously, but individuals with no competition controls generally grew more slowly. For example, Taxodium distichum Richard has had a high survival rate, regardless of whether planted as bareroot or balled-and-burlapped saplings, and have grown to 8 to 12 m in height. Quercus lyrata Walter, Carya aquatica (Michaux f.) Nuttall, Q. nuttallii Palmer, and Q. phellos L. planted in later trials also had adequate survival rates and have grown to 5+ m. Low mortality rates after the initial 3 to 4 years suggests that these species are appropriate for restoration. In contrast, survival of Nyssa aquatica L. and Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall have continually declined over time.