Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub


    Four mature northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.)–white oak (Quercus alba L.) stands in the Boston Mountains of northern Arkansas were studied to describe the vegetation dynamics of forests heavily impacted by oak decline. Northern red oak was the species most susceptible to decline. Across the four stands, 51–75% of red oak density (trees/ha) was dead or dying, as was 40 –70% of the red oak basal area. Red oak damage occurred across a range of tree sizes. Healthy red oak had low populations of red oak borer (Enaphalodes rufulus Haldeman), and dead/dying red oak supported large numbers of borers. Impacts on white oak were less severe and generally limited to smaller trees. Decline had changed what once were red oak-dominated stands to more mixed forests of white oak, hickory (Carya spp.), red oak, blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica Marsh.), and red maple (Acer rubrum L.). Understory trees and seedlings were predominantly blackgum, red maple, hickory, black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida L.), and sassafras (Sassafras albidum [Nutt.] Nees). However, well-developed red and white oak advance regeneration was present in all stands. It is unclear if the death of overstory trees will favor the regeneration of nonoaks, or whether oak regeneration will successfully recruit within canopy gaps created by this disturbance.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Heitzman, Eric; Grell, Adrian; Spetich, Martin; Starkey, Dale. 2007. Changes in forest structure associated with oak decline in severely impacted areas of northern Arkansas. South. J. Appl. For., Vol. 31(1): 17-22


    Arkansas, Boston mountains, oak decline, Quercus spp., red oak borer

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page