Oak Regeneration in Upland Hardwood Forests

Managers use data collected from a field exercise to model oak regeneration. Photo by USDA Forest Service.

Two-day workshop for managers

In July, the Southern Research Station (SRS) Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management Research unit hosted a 2-day workshop on oak regeneration in upland hardwood forests at the Bent Creek Experimental Forest near Asheville, North Carolina. Over 35 private, state, and federal agency forest managers participated in lecture presentations, field trips and outdoor exercises.  Five SRS speakers (Katie Greenberg, Henry McNab, Tara Keyser, Tom Waldrop, and Stacy Clark), all experts in their field of study, presented research results and discussed practical applications for managing hardwood forests to benefit oaks and other hardwood species.

Presentation topics included regeneration ecology and silvicultural systems, site classification and forest composition, modeling to predict forest composition under different management alternatives, artificial regeneration of both oak and American chestnut, and effects of prescribed fire on hardwood regeneration and wildlife.

To demonstrate the concepts presented in the classroom, students visited the Cold Mountain Game Lands, the site of a cooperative study between the SRS upland hardwoods research unit and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC). There, students viewed a variety of treatments recommended to regenerate oak implemented by NCWRC wildlife forester Dean Simon. SRS scientists are studying how effective these treatments are in regenerating oak and other hardwood species, as well as how the treatments affect wildlife. Julia Kirschman

Read more about upland oak ecology, regeneration, and management.

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