Seven-year response of planted northern red oak (Quercus rubra) seedlings to regeneration harvesting, burning, and herbicide treatments in western North CarolinaThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Oaks have been difficult to regenerate for the last 50 years, primarily due to changes in the disturbance regime, herbivore pressure, a wetter climate, and lack of proven management prescriptions. Oak reproduction must be relatively large (e.g., > 3-4 ft) prior to overstory removal to be competitive, and understory light regimes in undisturbed forests are too low for small oaks to recruit into larger size classes. Treatments that target the midstory and understory, such as burning and herbicide, increase light levels that favor oak regeneration and reduce competitors, but planting in these treatments have not been adequately tested.