Afforestation of abandoned agricultural land with hardwood seedlings is being conducted on thousands of acres in the South annually. More than 300,000 acres have been planted under the auspices of the Wetland Reserve Program, and other cost-share programs also promote the planting of hardwood species. Unfortunately, survival in many of these planting efforts has been extremely low. To evaluate the importance of cultural treatments on first-year survival, one-half of previously cultivated area was subsoiled in October 2001. The remainder of the test area was not treated mechanically. In February 2002, 1-0, bareroot seedlings of Shumard oak (Quercus shumardii
), water oak Q. nigra
), willow oak (Q. phellos
) and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica
) were planted by hand (half of each species in subsoil trenches; half in adjacent untreated areas). Oxyflurofen and sulfometuron were applied over-the-top of the planted seedlings for control of herbaceous vegetation with three replications of each species/treatment combination. Initial total height and groundline diameter (GLD) were measured for sample trees in each species/treatment plot including trees in untreated check plots. In November 2002, survival was evaluated, and height and GLD were remeasured. Subsoiling significantly increased both height and groundline diameter. Survival was not affected by any of the treatments, but differences are expected in year 2 or 3.
Ezell, Andrew W.; Shankle, Mark W. 2004. Effects of Subsoiling and Competition Control on First Year Survival and Growth of Four Hardwood Species. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS 71. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 571-573