New Forests

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 23–36 | Cite as

Establishment success of conservation tree plantations in relation to silvicultural practices in Indiana, USA

  • Douglass F. Jacobs
  • Amy L. Ross-Davis
  • Anthony S. Davis


In the Central Hardwood Forest region of the United States, the variable and somewhat unpredictable establishment success of hardwood tree plantations has traditionally been attributed to competing vegetation and damage due to animal browse. We examined operational plantation establishment success (1–5 years following planting) as it relates to use of particular silvicultural practices. Silvicultural histories were obtained for 87 randomly selected plantations throughout Indiana and field data were collected from each to determine tree survival, tree vigor, and abundance of surrounding vegetation. Survival was highest at sites that were treated with herbicide prior to planting and that had been mechanically planted (as opposed to hand planted). The percentage of trees with evidence of dieback was highest on sites at which browse protection measures had been used, likely reflecting a combination of damage due to inherently high white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus Zimmermann) populations at such sites and ineffectiveness of current browse protection measures. Sites planted by a professional forester and those with herbicide applied subsequent to planting had a higher percentage of trees deemed free-to-grow. Subsequent herbicide application did not reduce cover or height of competing vegetation; however, when used in conjunction with mechanical site preparation techniques, overall cover and height of herbaceous vegetation was reduced.

Afforestation Browse Free-to-grow Hardwoods Herbicide Site preparation Survival 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglass F. Jacobs
    • 1
  • Amy L. Ross-Davis
    • 1
  • Anthony S. Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC)Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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