Year of Publication

2020

Degree Name

Master of Science in Forest and Natural Resource Sciences (MSFNRS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Agriculture, Food and Environment

Department

Forestry and Natural Resources

First Advisor

Dr. John M. Lhotka

Abstract

The alteration of historical disturbance regimes, forest parcelization, and varying goals among landowners all present challenges to oak management in the eastern U.S. Foresters and landowners need tools to promote oak sustainability that are applicable on small forestland holdings and within complex management plans. From this perspective, this research evaluates a crop-tree release study installed in southeastern Kentucky in 1983. The experiment includes four, 2-acre replications of three treatment levels: 20 crop-trees per acre, 34 crop-trees per acre, and a control treatment in which crop-trees were selected but not released. Half-acre measurement plots were installed at the outset of the study. Crown class, dbh, and crop-tree grade were measured in year 0, 5, 10, 17, and 35 following treatment. Using these data, two facets of crop-tree release were analyzed: 1) how a crop-tree release affects white oak crop-trees in terms of tree growth rate and stem quality, 2) how a crop-tree release alters stand structure and per acre volume and value. Results indicate that crop-tree release applied to small sawtimber sized stands increases crop-tree diameter growth and the proportion of crop-trees reaching their maximum potential grade while promoting stand-wide growth.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2020.144

Available for download on Thursday, November 12, 2020

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