Effect of Reserve Trees on Oak Regeneration in Scrub Oak Sites in Central Wisconsin

by

Michael C. Demchik, Kevin M. Schwartz, Elijah Mujuri, and Emily Demchik

Professor of Forestry (MCD), University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, TNR Building, 800 Reserve Street, Stevens Point, WI 54481; Former graduate students (KMS, EM), University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, TNR Building, 800 Reserve Street, Stevens Point, WI 54481; (ED) Almond-Bancroft High School Student, 8438 14th Road, Almond, WI 54909; MCD is corresponding author. To contact, call 715-346-3214 or email mdemchik@uwsp.edu

Abstract – Anecdotally, higher retention levels after harvest are believed to have a negative impact on oak regeneration accumulation. For this study, harvests with four retention levels of 0%, 15%, 30% and 45% were established on 5 sites to determine the impact of overstory retention on success of oak regeneration after harvest. Previous research has shown that an increase in reserve trees can increase the accumulation of the intermediate shade tolerant oak as well as other intermediate and shade tolerant species while reducing the abundance of more intolerant species such as aspen. We re-inventoried these stands for 8 years after harvest. Three years after harvest, the regeneration levels in all plots met the requirements for adequate stocking based upon DNR set standards. There were no significant differences in oak regeneration between retention levels. We will be completing the eight year inventory this summer (the abstract deadline is before the inventory will be complete) and will report results of this inventory in the paper. It appears that oak can persist under higher retention levels, but further study will be necessary to determine recruitment into the canopy.