Age Distribution of Oak Forests in North-Central ArkansasThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
We used tree ring analysis to reconstruct the tree establishment patterns in four mature white oak (Quercus alba L.)-northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.)-hickory (Carya spp.) forests in the Ozark Mountains of north-central Arkasas. Cross sections were removed from the stumps of 321 recently harvested trees and total age determined for each. All four stands originated between 1900 and the 1920s following a stand-level disturbance(s) such as timber harvesting and/ or wildfire. Oak establishment was abundant for 10-30 yrs following the disturbance(s) but steadily declined thereafter. There was no oak establishment at the study sites over the past 50-60 yrs. Establishment since the 1940s and 1950s was dominated by shade tolerant species such as flowering dogwood (Cornus florida L.) and red maple (Acer rubrum L.)