Status of planted oak monocultures on a coastal plain minor bottom in the fifth decade after establishmentThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
In the mid-1970s, four oak (Quercus spp.) species adapted to bottomland sites, cherrybark oak (Q. pagoda), Nuttall oak (Q. texana), swamp chestnut oak (Q. michauxii), and water oak (Q. nigra), were planted in monocultures at several spacings to evaluate species and spacing effects on stand dynamics. The present investigation extends this study out to the fifth decade by comparing the oak monocultures planted at the two widest spacings (8 by 8 feet and 12 by 12 feet). A thinning in March 1996 provided an opportunity to assess potential effects of a single tending treatment. Results suggest that the original species and spacing treatments continue to influence development at individual-tree and stand levels. Red oak species were larger than swamp chestnut oak, while trees at the wider spacing (12 by 12 feet) were larger than trees established at the narrower spacing (8 by 8 feet). The effect of spacing on stems per acre was not statistically significant, but stand-level basal area was greater at the wider spacing. Both live-crown ratio and survival since 1996 were greater in stands that were treated with a one-time thinning. This study reinforces how decisions made at the time of stand establishment and early stand tending can have lasting effects on the development of planted bottomlandoak stands.