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Tree Shelters Reduced Growth and Survival of Underplanted Red Oak Seedlings in Southern Iowa

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A major concern in the management of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) is the difficulty in regenerating stands that have dense understories of shade tolerant species. A replicated study in southern Iowa indicated that over a 5 yr period, tree shelters have a major impact on establishment of underplanted, 1-0, northern red oak bareroot stock. Sheltered seedlings had increased height growth during the first 3 growing seasons. But during the next 2 growing seasons, annual height growth of sheltered seedlings declined to a level of annual height growth similar to that of nonsheltered seedlings. After 5 growing seasons, sheltered seedlings were approximately 30 cm taller than nonsheltered seedlings. Sheltered and nonsheltered seedlings were one-third to two-thirds the height of the shelters. At the end of the fifth growing season, total mortality for sheltered seedlings was 40 and 55%, whereas for nonsheltered seedlings, mortality was 26 and 28% at the McNay and Stephens sites, respectively. Tree shelters may be a viable alternative in open areas (e.g., clearcuts or plantations), but in this study, tree shelters reduced both growth and survival when used to protect underplanted, 1-0, red oak seedlings. North. J. Appl. For. 16(2):103-107.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Department of Forestry, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa 50011

Publication date: 1999-06-01

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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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