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Crop Tree Quality in Young Piedmont Oak Stands of Sprout Origin

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Oak crop trees were evaluated for their biological potential in 18 even-aged upland hardwood stands of sprout origin on good sites (oak S.I. 75 or better) in the upper Piedmont of South Carolina. These were unthinned stands, aged 20 to 40 years since clearcutting. Scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea Meunchh.) was the largest and most common acceptable crop tree, with straight boles generally free of epicormic branches, but was infrequently classed as desirable due to the poor natural pruning of its sizable and persistant dead branches. Southern red oak (Q. falcata Michx.), although smallest in diameter, was the most desirable crop tree of the oak species, due to its small branches that prune cleanly in these well-stocked stands. White oak (Q. alba L.) generally rated desirable except for many trees with epicormic branches, a well-known trait of this species. Black oak (Q. velutina Lam.) crop trees, although fewer in number, had good bole form with good pruning and few epicormic branches. Most crop trees were free of swollen butts and any sign of butt rot, and many were free of multiple dead or suppressed ancillary sterns. Overall, 56% of all oak crop trees were classified as desirable or better with excellent potential to develop into mature sawtimber.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Graduate Student, Department of Forestry, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29631

Publication date: February 1, 1985

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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 Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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