The influence from combinations of prescribed fire, herbicide injection, and partial overstory removal on restoration of natural oak stands in the Arkansas OzarksThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Two studies were conducted in the Springfield Plateau province of the Arkansas Ozarks from 2009 to 2014 incorporating the applied silvicultural methods proven beneficial to promote oak natural reproduction. The first study, River Hills, was a completely randomized design with treatments including: partial overstory removal to basal area 50 (BA50), partial overstory removal to basal area 50 plus mid-story removal (BA50+MR), and a non-harvest control (NHC). An additional treatment was applied in early 2013 involving a prescribed burn of the BA50 and BA50+MR treatments. Prior to the prescribed burn application, a significant difference was detected between initial versus year 3 total (all 3 height classes) oak seedlings per acre (SPA) measurements
for all treatment (p = 0.003, 0.008, 0.007; Student’s t-test, a = 0.05), associated with light availability. A prescribed fire conducted in year 4 had a negative impact on total oak SPA. The second study, Waugh Mountain, was a RCB, split plot design. Treatments included a partial overstory removal to basal area 50 (SW) and partial overstory removal to basal area 50 plus mid-story removal (SW+MR), with the split plot factor being either pre-harvest prescribed burn or no-burn. No significant differences were observed between initial and year 2 post-treatment total oak SPA. Significant differences were detected between initial and year 2 posttreatment oak SPA between 1 and 3 feet and greater than 3 feet in height.