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Oak Forest Composition on Contrasting Soil Types at the Mohonk Preserve, Eastern New York

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This research investigated overstory and understory forest composition for 10 sites derived from either shale or sandstone conglomerate parent material on the Shawangunk Ridge in eastern New York. Overstory composition in both soil types was dominated by red oak (Quercus rubra) and chestnut oak (Quercus montana), but the overstory on shale sites was more diverse (14 tree species) and had less oak than sandstone sites (with only 6 tree species). A total of 17 species were recorded as regeneration on shale sites, where seedlings averaged 21,466/ha and saplings averaged 1,833/ha. Dominant seedling on shale sites were chestnut oak (7,100/ha) and red oak (3,583/ha); chestnut oak had significantly more seedlings on shale versus sandstone sites. Saplings on shale sites were predominantly Hamamelis virginiana and Acer pensylvanicum. On sandstone sites, seedlings averaged 6,425/ha (including 2,075 oaks and 2,250 red maple per ha). Sapling numbers for all species were low (1,400/ha) and were mostly red maple. These forests are unique because of the relatively high density of oak seedlings on certain sites and low density of red maple across all sites. This variation in regeneration as well as management strategies to promote additional oak regeneration and canopy recruitment are discussed for these and similar forests.
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Keywords: chestnut oak; ecological management; forest ecology; red maple; red oak

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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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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