Response of planted northern red oak seedlings to regeneration harvesting, Midstory removal, and prescribed burningThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Oak (Quercus) is difficult to naturally regenerate in many mature oak stands on productive sites in the southeastern United States, and artificial regeneration alternatives should be considered. Artificial regeneration can potentially restore or enrich the oak component at the stand level. We examined genetic and silvicultural effects on artificially regenerated northern red oak (Quercus rubra) seedlings three years after planting under three silvicultural prescriptions and a control. We used quality-grown seedlings from openpollinated families to improve probabilities of success. The seedlings averaged 101 cm in height and 11.2 mm in root-collar diameter at the time of planting. Genetic differences were significant for survival and growth, but these differences may have been due to a residual nursery effect. Families with large seedlings at the time of planting were generally larger and had better survival after three years than families with smaller seedlings at the time of planting. A commercial shelterwood harvest was the only successful silvicultural treatment for artificial regeneration in this study. Trees planted in this treatment grew a total of 41 cm in height and 8.1 mm in ground-line diameter in three years. Seedlings planted in uncut stands, whether stands had been burned, treated with a midstory removal, or left untreated, had relatively poor survival (30 to 72 percent) and negligible growth (=15 cm height, =2 mm ground-line diameter).