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Oak Growth and Response to ThinningAuthor(s): Stephen R. Shifley
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 198-205
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
PDF: Download Publication (2.4 MB)
DescriptionOak growth and yield is simultaneously influenced by tree-, stand-, and landscape-scale factors. At the tree scale oak diameter growth varies by tree species (typically n. red oak >= scarlet oak > black oak > white oak > chestnut oak > chinkapin oak > post oak), but oak diameter growth is even more strongly influenced by crown class. Oak stands go through up to 5 stages of development that differ in tree size structure and stand dynamics. Knowing a stand’s develop-mental stage helps guide the application of thinning practices and other silvicultural techniques. Periodic thinning beginning at age 30 in oak stands can double board foot yield over a rotation relative to unmanaged oak stands. This results from capturing volume that would otherwise be lost through mortality and from reallocating growing space to desirable trees. The greatest increases in yield occur when a series of periodic thinnings is started when the stand enters the stem exclusion stage of development. Stump sprouts require even earlier treatment to maximize growth. Estimating future growth and yield in even-aged stands is often facilitated by application of mathematical models; models are a necessity for growth estimation in uneven-aged stands and stands with a large non-oak component.
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CitationShifley, Stephen R. 2004. Oak Growth and Response to Thinning. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-73. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pp. 198-205
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