Skip to main content

Control of Hay-Scented Fern by Mowing

Buy Article:

$29.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Hay-scented fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula) is a native species that can invade and dominate the forest understory, after thinning and intensive deer browsing. Fern colonies form a dense cover 60 to 80 cm high that intercepts light and inhibits tree seedling regeneration. Hay-scented fern can be controlled with herbicides, but some landowners (both public and private) seek alternative methods. We investigated mowing as a possible method of fern control. We tested different mowing schedules and measured the response of ferns (frond length and density) and of natural regeneration and planted seedlings. Mowing the ferns twice in one growing season (first in June when the fern fronds had reached their full height and again in August) led to a significant reduction in frond length during the next two growing seasons compared to untreated controls. Mowing four times over 2 years reduced both length and density of ferns. Mean density of naturally established tree seedlings was four times greater on these treatment plots compared to controls, but with great variability among plots. Red oak (Quercus rubra) and sugar maple (Acer saccharum) seedlings planted the year after mowing showed greater survival and height growth compared to controls.

Keywords: Invasive species; deer browsing; site preparation; understory restoration

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-09-01

More about this publication?
  • 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.
  • Membership Information
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free ContentFree content
  • Partial Free ContentPartial Free content
  • New ContentNew content
  • Open Access ContentOpen access content
  • Partial Open Access ContentPartial Open access content
  • Subscribed ContentSubscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed ContentPartial Subscribed content
  • Free Trial ContentFree trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more