Stump Sprouting 2 Years After Thinning in a Cherrybark Oak Plantation
Stump sprouts are considered an important regeneration source in hardwood management, especially in upland oak-dominated forests. Less is known about stump sprouting in bottomland oak forests. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the success and growth of stump sprouts following 2 thinning levels, 70-75 percent of initial stocking (light thinning) and 45-50 percent of initial stocking (heavy thinning) in a 35 year-old cherrybark oak (Quercus pagoda Raf.) plantation in Concordia Parish, LA. Two growing seasons after thinning, cherrybark oak sprout success was 37 percent across the study site, a 200 percent decrease from the previous year. A severe drought occurred during this time and may have contributed to the low sprouting success. Stumps averaged 8.5 sprouts over the 2-year study period, and dominant sprouts were 82 inches tall. Results from this study indicate that greater weights should be placed on stump sprout potential in bottomland hardwood regeneration evaluation models.