Silvicultural options for young bottomland oak-dominated plantations on former agricultural lands
This handbook presents several arrays of practical silvicultural options to landowners and forest managers of young, bottomland oak-dominated plantations. Each array of options is designed specifically to achieve one of three common landowner objectives: (1) production of high-quality oak sawtimber as the sole or primary objective; (2) creation of improved habitat for wildlife as the sole or primary objective, primarily through improved acorn production; and (3) integrated management for both oak sawtimber and improved wildlife habitat as multiple objectives of roughly equal importance and priority to the landowner. The handbook is divided into eight major sections: (1) patterns of stand development and acorn production over time in young, oak-dominated plantations; (2) silvicultural tools used for site, tree, and stand assessment, and for evaluation of acorn crops; (3) generalized decision-making process for initial management of young, oak-dominated plantations; (4) types of intermediate stand practices and their objectives; (5) possible detrimental effects of intermediate cuttings; (6) important factors to consider in the development of silvicultural options; (7) appropriateness of systematic cutting in young, oak-dominated plantations; and (8) silvicultural options suitable for attaining each of the three landowner objectives. To illustrate differences and similarities among the silvicultural options, we present an example based on data collected from an existing oak plantation to compare the structure and appearance of the residual stands that would result from the application of an appropriate silvicultural prescription for each of the three management objectives. For each management objective, we simulate the application of a silvicultural prescription designed to achieve that objective.