Skip to Main Content
Crown class dynamics of oaks after commercial thinning in West Virginia: 30-year resultsAuthor(s): Gary W. Miller; Jamie L. Schuler; James S. Rentch
Source: In: Kabrick, John M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Knapp, Benjamin O.; Larsen, David R.; Shifley, Stephen R.; Stelzer, Henry E., eds. Proceedings of the 20th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2016 March 28-April 1; Columbia, MO. General Technical Report NRS-P-167. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 193-201.
Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
Station: Northern Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (144.0 KB)
DescriptionCommercial thinning in hardwood stands is generally applied to reduce overcrowding and to favor the development of desired residual species until the stand is mature. In mixed hardwood stands, commercial thinning also provides an opportunity to promote vigorous overstory oaks (Quercus spp.) that will serve as sources of acorns and advanced seedlings needed to regenerate oaks in the next stand. Forest managers need information on sustaining and increasing the number of overstory oaks at mid-rotation when the stand is still several decades from maturity. In this study, crown class dynamics of 897 northern red (Quercus rubra), chestnut (Q. montana), and scarlet (Q. coccinea) oaks were monitored for 30 years after commercial thinning in 53-year-old central Appalachian mixed hardwood forests. Twenty 3-acre treatment plots were included in the study, and individual trees were examined immediately after thinning in 1983 and again in 2013. Fisher's exact test was used to compare the distributions of ending canopy position for thinned and control plots. In general, thinning enhanced crown class stability and survival rates of oaks that began in the upper canopy. For oaks that began in the intermediate crown class, the transition rates to the upper canopy after thinning were 33, 25, and 0 percent for northern red oak, chestnut oak, and scarlet oak, respectively. In control plots, oaks that began in the lower canopy had greater mortality rates, and very few trees ascended to the upper canopy. Forest managers can use this information to plan mid-rotation thinning treatments to enhance upper canopy species composition in the latter stages of stand development.
- 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.
- 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.
CitationMiller, Gary W.; Schuler, Jamie L.; Rentch, James S. 2017. Crown class dynamics of oaks after commercial thinning in West Virginia: 30-year results. In: Kabrick, John M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Knapp, Benjamin O.; Larsen, David R.; Shifley, Stephen R.; Stelzer, Henry E., eds. Proceedings of the 20th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2016 March 28-April 1; Columbia, MO. General Technical Report NRS-P-167. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 193-201.
- Silvical characteristics of the five upland oaks
- Crown class dynamics of oaks, yellow-poplar, and red maple after commercial thinning in Appalachian hardwoods: 20-year results.
- Stem quality of oak in 15-year-old stands: influence of species within harvesting treatment and fencing
XML: View XML