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Northern Research Station
11 Campus Blvd., Suite 200
Newtown Square, PA 19073
(610) 557-4017
(610) 557-4132 TTY/TDD

Sustaining Forests

The Ecology and Silviculture of Oaks

Research Issue

[photo:] Book cover: The Ecology and Silviculture of OaksAlthough the literature on North American oaks dates to the colonial period, most of it was written within the last 50 years, and a large proportion of that within the last 25 years.  However, much of this literature resides in relatively obscure scientific and technical journals, proceedings of professional and scientific meetings, government publications, and other sources that are often difficult to locate and retrieve.  But even with ready access to this abundance of scientific literature, its synthesis into a holistic framework of knowledge is a daunting task due to disparity in geographic coverage, dynamic forest conditions over time, inconsistencies in research methodologies, and constantly evolving management objectives.   

Our Research

The Ecology and Silviculture of Oaks brings together a vast body of previously published and original research into a comprehensive 580-page book presenting ecological and silvicultural concepts that can be used to address an array of forest management issues and objectives. The book is designed and intended not so much as a how-to-do-it management manual as it is a source of ideas on how to think about oak forests as responsive ecosystems.  Chapters address the following topics in detail: 


  • Oak taxonomy and distribution
  • Regeneration ecology
  • Site productivity
  • Development of natural stands
  • Self-thinning and stand density
  • Even-aged silvicultural methods
  • Uneven-aged silvicultural methods
  • Silvicultural methods for special uses and multi-resource management
  • Growth and yield

Expected Outcomes

Managers and conservators of oak forests should be better positioned to practice silviculture to meet the diverse array of owner and societal forest management objectives.

Research Results

Johnson, P.S.; Shifley, S.R.; Rogers, R. 2009.  The ecology and silviculture of oaks. 2nd Edition. Wallingford, UK: CABI Publishing, CAB International. 580p.

Research Participants

Principal Investigator

  • Paul S. Johnson, Research Forester (retired), US Forest Service, Northern Research Station
  • Stephen R. Shifley, Research Forester, US Forest Service- Northern Research Station
  • Robert Rogers, Emeritus Professor of Forestry, University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point

Last Modified: 03/01/2012