Diameter-Growth and Epicormic Branching Response of an East Texas Bottomland Red Oak Stand 3 Years After Thinning and FertilizationThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
To determine the effects of intermediate silvicultural treatments on bottomland hardwoods, two types of thinning (crown thinning and low thinning) and one level of fertilizer (200 pounds per acre N + 50 pounds per acre P) were applied to a predominantly red oak stand in southeastern Texas. Treatments were applied in a 3 by 2 factorial arrangement as a random-ized complete block design of 12 acres in size. Crop trees were selected prior to the treatments, and diameter at breast height measurements were taken pretreatment and for 3 proceeding years to assess diameter-growth response of all trees. Epicormic branching measurements were also taken for 3 years posttreatment to evaluate epicormic branching response of all crop trees to crown thinning, low thinning and fertilization. First year results showed no significant difference in current annual increment (CAI) of crop-tree diameter-growth response; however, second-year results of CAI diameter growth showed that crop trees in thinned plots achieved significantly more growth than in unthinned plots. With third-year results of CAI diameter growth, crop trees in crown-thinned plots grew significantly better than in both low-thinned and unthinned plots, all regardless of fertilization. Epicormic branching was generally greater in crown-thinned and fertilized plots immediately following treatment.