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Regeneration Methods for Oaks

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Oaks, one of the most abundant species groups in the eastern United States, are difficult to regenerate in the time, place, and abundance desired. Regeneration is hampered by insect damage to acorns, consumption of acorns by animals, and competition by other more shade tolerant vegetation. With animal populations managed at tolerable levels, adequate stocking of oak seedlings can be accomplished with most conventional regeneration methods. With the clearcut and seed-tree method the harvest must be timed with a good seed year. Oak stump sprouts will also contribute to the regeneration. The one-cut shelterwood method can work if there is adequate advanced regeneration. Two- or three-cut shelterwoods should work well with about 60% crown cover in high shade or 60% stocking after the first cut. The group selection method should also be effective if regeneration is released from above once established. The key with all these methods is to control competing vegetation, keeping the oaks dominant and free to grow; oaks like plenty of light. Once oak is well established and about 5 ft high, any overwood should be carefully removed to minimize seedling damage. If desired for esthetic, wildlife, or economic purposes, a light canopy cover can be retained as a reserve shelterwood. Management of oak requires intensive silviculture; casual treatment of stands at long intervals will seldom result in good regeneration. North. J. Appl. For. 4:97-101, June 1987.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Forestry, University of Vermont, Bington, VT 05405

Publication date: 1987-06-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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