Evaluation of mechanical site preparation and Oust XP treatments on survival and growth of three oak species planted on retired agricultural areas and a case study of a mixed Nuttall oak-green ash planting
Self, Andrew Brady
AdvisorEzell, W. Andrew
CommitteeLockhart, R. Brian
Hodges, D. John
Bare-root Nuttall oak, Shumard oak, and swamp chestnut oak seedlings were planted on former agricultural fields in Mississippi to evaluate growth and survival following treatment by different combinations of mechanical site preparation and pre-emergent Oust XP® applications. Mechanical treatments included: (1) controls, (2) subsoiling treatment, (3) bedding treatment, and (4) combination plowing. Pre-emergent Oust XP® treatments included: (1) one-year Oust XP® applications and (2) two-year Oust XP® applications. Evaluations and measurements were performed over the course of three years. Results within this dissertation should be considered in the context of high quality former agricultural sites with silt loam soils. Seedling height and GLD increased each growing season. Height and GLD of seedlings were greater in bedded and combination plowed areas compared to control and subsoiled areas. Height and GLD were not different by Oust XP® application. However, seedling survival in two-year Oust XP® application areas was reduced compared to one-year Oust XP® application areas. Nuttall oak seedlings planted in bedded and combination plowed areas exhibited greater stem biomass compared to those planted in control or subsoiled areas. Seedlings planted in two-year Oust XP® areas exhibited greater stem and root biomass compared to those planted in areas receiving the one-year treatment. Better growth and biomass production in bedded and combination plowed areas would promote their use for site preparation on similar sites. While survival was lower in two-year Oust XP® treatment areas compared to one-year treatment areas, the difference would not warrant change in management strategy. Additionally, woody biomass was much greater in two-year Oust XP® areas. Thus, if cost is not prohibitive, treatment with two years of Oust XP® is recommended. The objective of the mixed species study was to establish baseline growth and survival data for mixed Nuttall oak and green ash plantations on former agricultural areas. Height and GLD for both species increased each growing season. Third-year survival was excellent at 96.0 percent. In conclusion, the mixture performed satisfactorily. Growth and survival were excellent, which indicates this mixture would be useful in afforesting similar former agriculture sites.