Formulating an expanding-gap regeneration system for oak dominated stands

Although Femelschlag systems are used throughout Europe, few documented examples of these expanding-gap shelterwood practices exist in North American oak forests. In 2012, a replicated study incorporating twelve silvicultural gaps was established among three locations on Berea College Forest. The study tests two initial treatments to be used in the development of an expanding-gap silvicultural system for oak-dominated forests. The study documents whether spatial light and tree regeneration patterns associated with the treatments are beneficial to oak. The study will provide the first long-term look at this practice as a means for addressing the region’s oak regeneration issues and will serve as a platform for other investigations that address interdisciplinary questions.

John M. Lhotka, Ph.D.
Professor of Silviculture
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