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


    After more than 50 years of research and selective breeding, blight-resistant American chestnut (Castanea dentata) trees will soon be available for planting into the species' pre-blight range. Increased understanding of the regeneration requirements of pure American chestnut (C. dentata [Marsh.] Borkh.) will increase the success of future efforts to establish blight-resistant chestnut. We quantified survival and initial growth of bare-root American chestnut seedlings at five locations in eastern Kentucky, USA. We used a split-plot design to compare seedlings planted within adjacent mesic and xeric sites treated with either a two-age shelterwood overstory treatment or a midstory removal treatment. The silvicultural treatments and topographic settings allowed us to evaluate chestnut seedling performance under four light and site productivity combinations. Seedling survival was 57% and seedling height averaged 94 cm following two growing seasons. Seedling survival was negatively related to sand and coarse fragment content, but was unrelated to silviculture treatment or topographic position. Chestnut seedlings grew best in shelterwood overstory treatments areas on mesic sites. Seedlings growing in shelterwood overstory treatment areas added 3- and 3.5-times more height and stem increment compared to seedlings planted aftermidstory removal. Seedling leafmass and foliar nitrogen (N) content were also greatest in shelterwood plantings on mesic sites. The high-light environment created by shelterwood overstory removal resulted in better initial seedling growth, but the moderate-light of the midstory removal treatment may ultimately provide chestnut seedlings a greater advantage over competing vegetation.

    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.


    Rhoades, Chuck; Loftis, David; Lewis, Jeffrey; Clark, Stacy. 2009. The influence of silvicultural treatments and site conditions on American chestnut (Castanea dentata) seedling establishment in eastern Kentucky, USA. Forest Ecology and Management. 258: 1211-1218.


    Cumberland Plateau, hardwood silviculture, forest restoration

    Related Search

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