Successful oak regeneration is related to the size and number of advanced seedlings present when harvests occur. This study was installed to quantify the effect of microsite light availability and deer on the development of advanced northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) reproduction in mesic Appalachian hardwood stands. Microsite light was manipulated with pre-harvest herbicide treatments. Twelve 0.4-acre plots were randomly assigned to each of three microsite light levels and an untreated control for a total of 48 plots. A woven wire fence was erected around 8 plots in each treatment. Approximately 1,500 individual seedlings were tagged for long-term study. An additional 200 seedlings were tagged for annual destructive tests to measure shoot and root development. Three years after treatment, survival averaged 74 percent in fenced/high-light plots compared to 22 percent in unfenced/untreated plots. Fencing had a much stronger influence on survival than microsite light. Treatments also increased shoot length by 30 percent, root length by 39 percent, shoot weight by 145 percent, root weight by 337 percent, and basal diameter by 26 percent compared to controls. Practical considerations and long-term implications are discussed.
Miller, Gary W.; Kochenerfer, James N.; Gottschalk, Kurt W. 2004. Effect of Pre-Harvest Shade Control and Fencing on Northern Red oak Seedling Development in the Central Appalachians. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 182-189