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Planting Oaks in Group Selection Openings on Upland Sites: Two Case Studies from Arkansas

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Two upland sites in Arkansas were studied to test the performance of 1-0 northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) and white oak (Quercus alba L.) seedlings planted in group selection openings. Both red and white oak seedlings were planted at one location in the Ozark Mountains, and only red oak seedlings were planted at a second site along Crowleys Ridge. Holes were dug with power augers and seedlings were planted by hand. At the time of planting, the mean height of red oak and white oak seedlings at the Ozark site were 3.4 and 1.9 ft, respectively. Red oak seedlings at Crowleys Ridge averaged 3.0 ft tall when planted. After 4 years at the Ozark site, 77% of red oak and 86% of white oak were alive. After 3 years at Crowleys Ridge, red oak survival was 80%. Seedlings at both sites grew slowly. Mean 4-year height increment at the Ozark site was 2.1 ft for red oak and 2.5 ft for white oak, and mean 3-year height increment for red oak at Crowleys Ridge was 1.6 ft. Three years after planting in the Ozark Mountains and 2 years after planting at Crowleys Ridge, naturally regenerating competition had suppressed over one-third of the red oak and about one-half of the white oak. This necessitated a release treatment around planted seedlings at both sites. Oaks that decreased in total height over a given growing season were common. Most seedlings that decreased in height had been pulled over or crushed by other vegetation or exhibited top dieback.

Keywords: Northern red oak; planting; power augers; seedlings; white oak

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-08-01

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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 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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