Red oak timber product value loss due to fire damageThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Fire is increasingly applied as a land management tool toward achieving multiple objectives in eastern North American oak (Quercus) communities. Prescribed fire treatments are applied for natural community restoration, hazardous fuel reduction, and multiple silvicultural objectives (Arthur and others 2012, Brose and others 2013, Brose and Van Lear 1998, Burton and others 2011, Dey and Hartman 2005, Pyne and others 1996). In southern Missouri, prescribed fire is used to restore glades, savannas, and woodlands by decreasing the number of woody stems, consuming litter, and creating forest canopy openings, thus promoting fire-tolerant tree and shade-intolerant herbaceous species (Nelson 2005). As land management agencies increasingly move toward landscape-level management processes (e.g., burn units > 1,000 acres), prescribed fire will burn across ecological boundaries more frequently, including into stands of merchantable timber. Currently there is much debate as to whether prescribed fire management for forest community restoration and managing for timber products are mutually exclusive practices. There is a need for improved understanding regarding how prescribed fire affects timber product values in areas containing merchantable sized trees.