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Elevation of Seed Sources and Planting Sites Affects Phenology and Development of Red Oak Seedlings

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Acorns were collected from northern red oaks at four elevations in western North Carolina and planted at sites covering the altitudinal range of the species in the southern Appalachians. At the beginning of the second growing season, date of budbreak, and rate of seedling development were significantly correlated with the elevation of the acorn source. Date of budbreak and height growth were also found to be significantly correlated with the elevation of the planting site. The average date of budbreak for all seedlings was April 24, and the budbreak period for the entire study covered 38 days, beginning on April 10. At each planting site, budbreak of the seedlings from the various seed sources occurred over an 11-day period. The study showed conclusively that moving northern red oak acorns from one elevation to another can affect the future phenological performance of the seedlings. Forest Sci. 20:160-164.

Keywords: Quercus rubra; budbreak; dormancy; frost damage; planting

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Principal Silviculturist, Southeast. Forest Exp. Stn., USDA Forest Serv., Bent Creek Experimental Forest, Asheville, N.C.

Publication date: June 1, 1974

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