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    Author(s): Patrick H. BroseTodd F. Hutchinson
    Date: 2019
    Source: e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-237. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station
    Publication Series: Paper (invited, offered, keynote)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (4.0 MB)


    Release burning is the term used to describe prescribed fire conducted in the mid- to latter stages of the oak (Quercus spp.) regeneration process to promote the dominance of oak reproduction. In this context, the fire exploits differences in resource allocation (roots versus stems) between oak seedlings and those of other hardwoods to free the oaks from excessive competition. Fire seasonality and fire intensity strongly influence release burning outcomes with hot fires conducted in late spring being most beneficial for promoting oak dominance. However, release burning must be used wisely as it can produce unintended consequences regarding whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus) browsing, damage to overstory trees, invasive species, and smoke impacts.

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    Brose, Patrick H.; Hutchinson, Todd F. 2019. The fundamentals of release burning in mixed oak forests with emphasis on the shelterwood-burn technique. In: Clark, Stacy L.; Schweitzer, Callie J., eds. Oak symposium: sustaining oak forests in the 21st century through science-based management. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-237. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station​: 79-88.

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