Viability of Northern Pin and White Oak Reserve Trees in Wisconsin Scrub Oak Sites
Retention of reserve trees can serve multiple objectives when harvests are conducted on scrub oak sites. The objective of the study was to determine the growth and vigor response of northern pin and white oak held as reserve trees from harvests occurring over a 15-year time period on scrub oak sites in Central Wisconsin. Reserve trees were evaluated for volume growth, epicormic branching, live crown ratio, and tree vigor. White oak maintained or improved in vigor and exhibited increased rates of volume growth with no measured mortality. Northern pin oak, although exhibiting increased volume growth, tended to decline in vigor and experienced an overall annual mortality rate of 5.5%. For managers that are considering multiple objectives, white oak can provide a long-lived vigorous reserve tree while northern pin oak may survive but will experience decline and higher rates of mortality, which may contribute to a long-term goal of snag retention as an element of wildlife habitat.
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