Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Garland Ray Wells

Committee Members

Ron Hay, Oscar Fowler, Dudley Dewhirst


In 1995, an enrichment planting of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) was established in a recently harvested upland hardwood stand in West Tennessee. Five known genetic families were used from a 190 family seed orchard on the Watuga Ranger District of the Cherokee National Forest. Seedlings were obtained from the University of Tennessee Tree Improvement Program and were grown at the Tennessee Division of Forestry Nursery under a protocol developed by the USDA Forest Service Institute of Tree Root Biology. Seedlings from several genetic family sources were field tested in this year in several other southern states. This study is an early trial of selected families for the western part of the State and assumes that artificial regeneration of northern red oak may be feasible. The study obtained responses of these quality seedlings under field conditions and several site preparation techniques. It was hypothesized that all variability in seedling growth (height and basal diameter) and early seedling survival can be explained either by genetic family or by the site preparation treatment.

The enrichment plantings were superimposed onto an established natural oak regeneration study. Twenty circular plots were established. Five post-harvest treatments, both mechanical and chemical, were then assigned to the 20 plots using a randomized block design. A buffer area surrounding each of the 20 natural regeneration plots was divided into four cardinal direction quadrants in which the artificial regeneration seedlings were planted. Measurements of (height growth, basal caliper, and The introduced seedlings were analyzed for hypothesis testing.

All northern red oak seedlings produced height growth during the first growing season. There was a significant difference at the .05 level between the plot treatments and height growth. There were no significant differences at the .05 level between the plot treatments and survivability. There were no significant differences between the genetic families and survivability. There was a significant difference at the .05 level between genetic families and height growth. Minimal deer or other animal damage was found.

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