Partial Cutting and Establishment of Artificial Nuttall Oak Regeneration in the Mississippi Alluvial PlainThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
In the fall of 1998, we harvested a mixed bottomland hardwood stand in Sharkey County, MS, to establish two replicates of three residual stocking levels (0, 25, and 50 percent). We compared the various stand densities for suitability in establishment and growth of artificial oak regeneration. Following the overstory harvest, treatment plots received chain saw site preparation, then in March 1999 1-0 Nuttall oak (Quercus nuttallii Palmer) seedlings were hand-planted across the study site. To examine the efficacy of competition control on improving seedling survival and growth, half of the seedlings received a spot application of a broad-spectrum herbicide. Third-year survival of planted seedlings averaged 77 percent across the site, providing > 570 stems/ha. Third-year measurements on surviving seedlings indicated more vigorous growth under 0- percent residual stand stocking where seedlings developed to a mean height of 152±9 cm (mean ± standard error) and a mean root-collar diameter of 17.8±1.4 mm. Height and root-collar diameter of seedlings planted beneath partial overstories did not differ by overwood stocking level and averaged 95±8 cm and 12.3±0.9 mm, respectively. Competition control did not improve seedling survival or height growth but slightly increased root collar diameter 3 years after treatment. However, seedlings receiving competition control were 44 percent more likely to be free to grow than seedlings that did not receive competition control. We present silvicultural implications of these results for bottomland oak regeneration.