Oak regeneration success in operational shelterwood cuts: year two resultsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
The efficiency of shelterwood cutting in providing natural regeneration of bottomland oaks (Quercus spp.) is well documented. Typically, assuming environmental conditions are satisfactory, research projects yield adequate regeneration levels for targeted oak species. However, skepticism is often encountered when promoting the method for commercial operations in landowner management practices. Much of this hesitancy results from observing insufficient levels of oak regeneration after application of poor management technique. This study assesses viability of the system when established under operational constraints. A post-regeneration-cut bottomland hardwood stand was selected near Starkville, MS, to evaluate second-year oak regeneration
response. This partial harvest study area was embedded inside a larger commercial harvesting operation. No special provisions for research were employed. Initial stand age was 86 years, the overstory was dominated by oak species, initial stand basal area (BA) was 115 square feet per acre, and residual post-harvest BA was 48 square feet per acre. Midstory injection was performed 1 year prior to regeneration cutting in an attempt to limit resprout potential of shade-tolerant species. Little research evaluating regeneration response at ground location in relation to crown location has been performed in bottomland hardwood systems. Consequently, three ground locations were selected based upon crown radius for evaluating regeneration response. These locations were half of crown radius, straddling dripline, and 25 feet outside dripline. Year two regeneration results for eight oak
species are presented.