Publication Details

Tree-quality impacts associated with use of the shelterwood-fire technique in a central Appalachian forest

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Year Published

2017

Publication

In: Kabrick, John M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Knapp, Benjamin O.; Larsen, David R.; Shifley, Stephen R.; Stelzer, Henry E., eds. Proceedings of the 20th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2016 March 28-April 1; Columbia, MO. General Technical Report NRS-P-167. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 146-156.

Abstract

Wounding from prescribed fires and forest harvest operations creates concerns about the future health, grade, volume, and value recovery potential of affected trees. The wounds, regardless of origin, may compartmentalize and heal over. Or they may be slower to heal or too significant to defend against pathogens that invade the wound zone and promote decay formation and spread. Even tree species that are good at compartmentalization after being wounded can succumb after a series of wounding events. We often create this scenario when conducting prescribed fires in conjunction with thinning and regeneration operations. A combination prescribed fire–shelterwood treatment study to evaluate oak regeneration (Quercus spp.) and establishment in a mesic mixed-oak forest was conducted in 2000 in West Virginia. Before and after each of two prescribed fires that were intended to eliminate a shade-tolerant understory, a shelterwood harvest to open the canopy to promote oak regeneration, and a subsequent prescribed fire designed to further cull less fire tolerant non-oak species, tree-quality conditions were evaluated for all stems 5-inch diameter at breast height and larger. The initiation and development of wounds and broken tops were tracked and correlated with silvicultural activities and weather events. The cumulative and interaction effects of repeated mechanical stressors on these stems are significant factors in long-term research that seeks to determine the costs and benefits of prescribed fire treatments to promote oak regeneration.

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Citation

Wiedenbeck, Janice K.; Brown, John P.; Schuler, Thomas M.; Thomas-Van Gundy, Melissa. 2017. Tree-quality impacts associated with use of the shelterwood-fire technique in a central Appalachian forest. In: Kabrick, John M.; Dey, Daniel C.; Knapp, Benjamin O.; Larsen, David R.; Shifley, Stephen R.; Stelzer, Henry E., eds. Proceedings of the 20th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 2016 March 28-April 1; Columbia, MO. General Technical Report NRS-P-167. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station: 146-156.

Last updated on: November 28, 2017