Response to prescribed burning of 5-year-old hardwood regeneration on a mesic site in the Southern Appalachian MountainsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Five years after a Southern Appalachian cove was regenerated, vegetation was dominated by a dense stand of yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), which averaged 9,181±13,042 stems per acre, and other mesophytic hardwood seedlings and saplings. The stand was prescribed burned during late spring to improve habitat for turkey by reducing density of saplings to stimulate greater production of grasses and herbs. The prescribed fire completely killed about 69 percent of the saplings; the others were topkilled and produced basal sprouts that reclaimed much of the canopy growing space after one growing season. Regression analysis indicated that over a range of fire intensities the probability of mortality for yellow-poplar saplings was about twice that of other species. Results suggest that additional prescribed burns will be necessary to achieve the desired low density of arborescent vegetation to allow development of herbaceous species beneficial for wildlife.