An overview of oak silviculture in the United States: the past, present, and future
Oaks (Quercus) are important components of forest systems throughout the United States. This overview describes past, present, and future silvicultural practices within the oak-hickory ecosystem of the United States. Past land-use activitiesfavored oak development, butwildfire and livestock grazing controls have caused severe oak regeneration problems that were not recognized until recently. Prescriptions for weedings, cleanings and the use of stocking charts to control intermediate thinnings were early silvicultura1 developments. More recently, growth and yield models for managed stands were developed topredictcurrent and future timber volumes. Currently, silviculturists are developing solutions to natural and artificial regeneration problems. Research results indicate that, other factors being equal, regeneration success is favored by simultaneously reducing over and understory densities and that oak seedling survival and development is enhanced in largeseedlings that havehigh root to shoot ratios. Future silvicultural practices will have an ecosystems focus.