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Silviculture and Forest Ecology

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Over the past several decades, federal incentive programs have encouraged the restoration of bottomland forests throughout the West Gulf Coastal Plain (WGCP) and the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley (LMAV). Programs such as the Conservation Reserve (CRP) and Wetlands Reserve (WRP) Programs have been marginally successful (Stanturf et al. 2001). Foresters and contractors often follow conventional tree planting procedures that are well established for upland sites, but prove problematic in bottomlands. High water tables, soil drainage and compaction, overland flooding and diverse soil properties make species selection difficult. Slight changes in topography and soil structure often have a dramatic effect on survival and growth of planted oak seedlings (Hodges and Schweitzer 1979). This project documented the survival and growth of six-year old seedlings that were established on a bottomland site in 2004, located at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center, Jackson, Tennessee. The purpose was to determine how soil drainage as indicated by mottling (specifically, the point of 50 percent gray color throughout the soil profile) affects the survival and growth of bottomland oak species. The findings suggest that practitioners plant Nuttall, pin and overcup oaks in poorly drained soils. As the drainage improves, begin mixing in willow oak. In the best drained soils (if they exist), finish by including water, swamp chestnut, swamp white, Shumard, cherrybark and bur oaks. Potential species diversity should expand as the soil drainage improves.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2011

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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