Skip to Main Content
Innovations in afforestation of agricultural bottomlands to restore native forests in the eastern USAAuthor(s): Daniel C. Dey; Emile S. Gardiner; John M. Kabrick; John A. Stanturf; Douglass F. Jacobs
Source: Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research. 25(Suppl8): 31-42.
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Northern Research Station
View PDF (745.02 KB)
DescriptionEstablishing trees in agricultural bottomlands is challenging because of intense competition, flooding and herbivory. A summary is presented of new practices and management systems for regenerating trees in former agricultural fields in the eastern USA. Innovations have come from improvements in planting stock and new silvicultural systems that restore ecological function more quickly than traditional afforestation with single-species stands. Advances in nursery production of large (e.g. 1-2 m tall; 1.5-2.0 cm basal diameter) bareroot and container seedlings with well-developed root systems have led to increases in survival and growth, and early seed production. In addition to planting high-quality seedlings, managing vegetation is critical to regeneration success. Planting seedlings with cover crops such as redtop grass (Agrostis gigantea Roth) may improve tree survival and growth by controlling competing vegetation and reducing animal herbivory. An innovative strategy that simulates natural succession involves interplanting later seral species such as Nuttall oak (Quercus nuttallii Palm.) in young plantations of pioneer species such as Populus deltoides Bartr. ex Marsh. Populus L. acts as a nurse crop for Quercus L. by reducing biomass of competing vegetation without seriously limiting Quercus L. seedling growth or function. Harvest of the short-rotation Populus L. crop releases the well-established Quercus L. trees. Success in afforestation requires planting high-quality seedlings using management practices that promote survival and growth. Restoration based on ecosystem processes, using tree species that have complementary ecological requirements, will be more successful and affordable than other methods.
- Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
- Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
- During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
- Please contact Sharon Hobrla, firstname.lastname@example.org if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
CitationDey, Daniel C.; Gardiner, Emile S.; Kabrick, John M.; Stanturf, John A.; Jacobs, Douglass F. 2010. Innovations in afforestation of agricultural bottomlands to restore native forests in the eastern USA. Scandinavian Journal of Forest Research. 25(Suppl8): 31-42.
Keywordsafforestation, artificial regeneration, bottomland forest, restoration, silviculture
- Innovations in afforestation of agricultural bottomlands to restore native forests in the United States
- Vegetation Cover Affects Mammal Herbivory on Planted Oaks and Success of Reforesting Missouri River Bottomland Fields
- The role of large container seedlings in afforesting oaks in bottomlands
XML: View XML