Ground truth assessments of forests affected by oak decline and red oak borer in the interior highlands of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri: preliminary results from overstory analysisThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Forests of the Interior Highlands of Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri are being affected by oak decline and an unprecedented outbreak of a native beetle called the red oak borer. On average, Interior Highlands stands contained 236 trees per acre, of which 32 trees per acre (13.4 percent) were dead or dying. Stands averaged 97 square feet per acre of basal area, of which 14 square feet per acre (14.5 percent) was dead or dying. Red oak species had the greatest proportional damage. Red oak basal area in the region averaged 27.2 square feet per acre, of which 8.2 square feet per acre (30 percent) was affected. White oak basal area averaged 36.0 square feet per acre, of which 3.4 square feet per acre (9.4 percent) was dead or dying. White oak species showed evidence of decline in both the small and large diameter classes, whereas red oaks had some proportion of unhealthy trees across all diameter classes.