First year sprouting and growth dynamics in response to prescribed fire in a mesic mixed-oak forestThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Prescribed fire is being used more frequently as a component of regeneration treatments in accordance with silvicultural guidelines developed to sustain and increase oak reproduction. A shelterwoodburn study was initiated in response to declining oak importance in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia. To remove a non-oak midstory, the study site was prescribe burned twice preceding the first removal cut of a two-cut shelterwood regeneration method that occurred in 2009/2010. A third burn occurred in April 2014 to mitigate the development of non-oak species that dominated the site four years after the seed cut. First year results indicate that northern red oak (Quercus rubra) survived at a higher rate than red maple (Acer rubrum), sweet birch (Betula lenta), and yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), and the differences were more apparent in smaller pre-burn size classes. By contrast, differences in growth rates were significant in larger pre-burn size classes, but not in smaller size classes.