For the first time since 2002, scientists and land managers met to share knowledge on sustaining and conserving oak forests in the eastern U.S.
The oak symposium was held October 2017 in Knoxville, Tennessee and hosted by The University of Tennessee Department of Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries. The meeting featured 33 invited speakers, an audience discussion period, a poster session, and a field trip showcasing collaborative research.
Contributions on an impressive diversity of research topics in oak and oak management, compiled by USDA Forest Service Researchers Stacy Clark and Callie Schweitzer, are summarized in a General Technical Report.
Speakers from universities, state natural resource agencies, industry, and the Forest Service’s Northern and Southern Research Stations and Forest Health Protection covered topics including history of oak research and management, emerging economic markets, silviculture for climate change, artificial regeneration, natural advanced oak regeneration, prescribed burning to promote oak regeneration, and woodland wildlife habitat management.
An audience discussion on emerging needs for oak management and research was timely — given recent increases in markets for oak for barrels, biofuel, and other uses — as managers and researchers try to understand challenges in oak regeneration and develop strategies to sustain oak forests in the future.
The meeting underscored the significant progress made in state-of-the-art management and research as well as identifying research gaps in the quest to conserve and sustain oak forests.