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Site preparation for red oak plantation establishment on old field sites in southern IndianaAuthor(s): Ron A. Rathfon; Don J. Kaczmarek; Phil E. Pope
Source: In: Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Fosbroke, Sandra L. C., ed. Proceedings, 10th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 1995 March 5-8; Morgantown, WV.: Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-197. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 349-362
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Northeastern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (1.86 MB)
DescriptionLittle research has been conducted on the use of mechanical site preparation or fertilization in the Central Hardwood Region. Many hardwood plantings, particularly oak plantings, on old field sites in the region have resulted in high rates of mortality, stem die-back, and slow early-growth rates. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of mechanical site preparation techniques and fertilization on the early survival and growth of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) seedlings planted on an old field site in southern Indiana. The study was initiated in the Spring of 1993 on a severely eroded old field site, which had a history of successive plantation failures. The treatments included all possible combinations of subsoiling, tillage, and fertilization. Each treatment combination was replicated four times. Subsoiling was accomplished to a 45 - 50 cm depth. Conventional tillage consisted of a three bottom moldboard plow followed by disking to a tillage depth of approximately 25 cm. Fertilization consisted of 336 kg nitrogen/ha, 98 kg phosphorus/ha, 93 kg potassium/ha, 224 kg calcium/ha, 56 kg magnesium/ha, 112 kg sulfur/ha, and 560 kg lime/ha. Seedling survival, diameter and height growth, root growth parameters, and foliage nutrient concentrations were measured. Deer browsing was also monitored. After one growing season, survival exceeded 99% over all treatments. Fertilization produced a 47% and 60% increase in height and diameter growth, respectively, over the unfertilized treatments. Subsoiling and tillage did not appear to significantly increase tree stem growth. Fertilized seedlings had higher foliar N concentrations, dark green foliage and 2.1 growth flushes during the first growing season compared to the yellow-green foliage and the 1.2 growth flushes produced by unfertilized seedlings. Fertilized trees were favored by the deer for browse, but resprouted vigorously following browsing. Nitrogen was the main factor limiting tree growth. Fertilization enhanced height growth by inducing multiple growth flushes throughout the growing season. Because the results of this study are preliminary, treatment effects will be monitored through the establishment phase of the plantation.
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CitationRathfon, Ron A.; Kaczmarek, Don J.; Pope, Phil E. 1995. Site preparation for red oak plantation establishment on old field sites in southern Indiana. In: Gottschalk, Kurt W.; Fosbroke, Sandra L. C., ed. Proceedings, 10th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 1995 March 5-8; Morgantown, WV.: Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-197. Radnor, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 349-362
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