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Northern Red Oak, White Oak, and Black Walnut Diameter Growth for the First 3 Years after Thinning in a Mixed Planting

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We established a study to investigate short-term morphological responses of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.), white oak (Quercus alba L.), and black walnut (Juglans nigra L.) to a 43% basal area reduction in a mixed planting. Although the effect was not statistically confirmed, thinned northern red oak showed a 23% gain in relative diameter growth and a 25% gain in relative crown surface area expansion compared with nonthinned trees; white oak showed gains of 15 and 10%, respectively. Similar trends were found in percentage of basal area increase for northern red oak (45%) and white oak (37%). Black walnut did not appear to respond to thinning and may have been under less competition from first-tier neighbors than the oaks were. Both northern red oak and white oak were in intermediate and suppressed crown classes, whereas black walnut was in a codominant position. Trends from this study suggest that northern red oak and white oak may respond favorably to thinning when found in lower crown classes where the amount of competition from neighboring trees is high.
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Keywords: competition; diameter growth; hardwood trees; silviculture

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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