First-Year Effects of Shelterwood Cutting, Wildlife Thinning, and Prescribed Burning on Oak Regeneration and Competitors in Tennessee Oak-Hickory ForestsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Oak regeneration has declined significantly over the past century in many regions of the United States. Pre-scribed burning, herbicides, and cutting are all potentially viable methods of favoring oak regeneration by removing competitors, but evaluation of these methods in all regions of the Eastern United States is incomplete. We compared effects of four treatments on oak regeneration and competitors: Shelterwood cutting, wildlife thinning using herbicide, wildlife thinning using herbicide combined with prescribed burning, and prescribed burning with no overstory treatment. Light, soil moisture, herbs, shrubs, woody reproduction, and overstory structure were measured to quantify treatment effects. Shelterwood harvests and wildlife thinnings significantly increased light availability and reduced overstory and midstory cover. Prescribed fire signifi-cantly increased the density of oak seedlings and sprouts < 10 cm tall. Prescribed fire also reduced the density of red maple regeneration, but significantly increased the density of sassafras and yellow-poplar regeneration.