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


    To better understand how the practice of long–term tree retention affects value, northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) trees from the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin were harvested and examined for patterns of heartwood development in relation to several tree characteristics. A total of 69 mature northern red oak trees from three dbh size classes, small (34-47 cm, 20 trees), medium (48-60 cm, 20 trees), and large (≥ 61 cm, 29 trees), were logged and optimally bucked. Cross-sectional disks were then removed from the tops of the stumps and each log and were analyzed for patterns of change in heartwood radius. Four factors were found to have a statistically significant effect on heartwood radius: age of the tree, size class, height, and inside bark radius. The inside bark radius was the strongest predictor of heartwood radius. A 1 cm increase in inside bark radius led to approximately a 0.95 cm increase in heartwood radius. Increasing height had a small negative effect, with heartwood radius decreasing approximately 0.05 cm for each meter above ground. Age of the tree had a small positive effect of 0.0016 cm per year and was only significant in one expert model considered. These results provide consumers of oak logs and forest managers insight to the interior heartwood pattern and can lead to improved value assessments for northern red oak logs.

    Publication Notes

    • 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, 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.


    Brown, John P. 2019. Heartwood taper in northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.). Res. Pap. NRS-32. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 9 p.


    Google Scholar


    heartwood, taper, northern red oak, linear mixed models

    Related Search

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