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Thinning New England Oak Stands to Enhance Acorn Production

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Acorns are recognized as an important food for wildlife in New England oak forests, but information on managing stands to enhance acorn production is scarce. Thinning oak stands in central Massachusetts to promote the growth of quality sawtimber did not diminish acorn production per hectare. During 3 successive yr, mean number of sound acorns ranged from 30,000 to 155,000/ha for unthinned stands and from 58,000 to 220,000/ha for thinned stands. Releasing individual oaks increased acorn production per tree. The differences between thinned and unthinned trees and stands were greatest during years when acorn production was lowest. The positive effect of thinning during years of generally poor acorn production is a potentially important benefit for wildlife. Thinning oak stands to enhance acorn production may be an attractive option for landowners with an interest in wildlife. North. J. Appl. For. 14(3):152-156.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Holdsworth Hall, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003

Publication date: 1997-09-01

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