Hardwood Forest Research

The sustainability of our hardwood resource is a top priority. Virginia is a hardwood state – 80% of our forested acres are in hardwood or mixed hardwood-pine forest; the oak-hickory type alone occupies 61%.

What We Have Learned

We have identified a number of factors contributing to significant species composition and quality issues that can affect the sustainability of Virginia’s vast hardwood resource – particularly with regard to the oak species. The crop tree release, partial harvest aimed at regeneration and species diversity (shelterwood cut), and timber stand improvement approaches all offer opportunities to enhance stand conditions now and in the future.
Note – can you do a tool tip that shows the glossary definition of shelterwood cut upon hover?

Ongoing Projects

Our ongoing research is demonstrating and evaluating regeneration and growth responses of hardwood species following various harvest methods; crop tree release/fertilization; effects of deer on regeneration, and impacts of thinning and timber stand improvement. We are also working closely with the Commonwealth’s hardwood initiative to develop decision support tools to expand the application of these.


Additional Resources

  • Learn more about the White Oak Initiative to ensure the long-term sustainability of white oak – critical to wildlife, forest products industry, and local economies.
  • Learn more about forest inventory at the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station.
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An Assessment of Potential of Hybrid Poplar for Planting in the Virginia Piedmont
An Assessment of Potential of Hybrid Poplar for Planting in the Virginia Piedmont

Report provides four-year results from a study of 12 hybrid poplar clones planted in replicated yield trials at two locations in the Virginia Piedmont. Results through the first four growing seasons showed that the clone with the most rapid height growth was also most susceptible to frost damage and stem canker disease. Harold E. Burkhart, Amy M. Brunner, Brian J. Stanton, Richard A. Shuren, Ralph L. Amateis, Jerre L. Creighton.

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Forest Research Review 2006-08
Forest Research Review 2006-08

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: longleaf pine establishment methods, shortleaf pine establishment methods, American chestnut backcross breeding, white pine seedling handling and competition control methods, loblolly pine release tank mixes and surfactants, epicormic branching of white oak, and northern red oak planting.

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Forest Research Review 2007-03
Forest Research Review 2007-03

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: the loblolly pine tree improvement program, competition control for shortleaf pine establishment, competition control for white pine establishment, pruning methods for urban trees, white oak crop tree release, tree-of-heaven control methods, yellow-poplar thinning response, and northern red oak planting.

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Forest Research Review 2007-09
Forest Research Review 2007-09

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: financial value of improved loblolly pine seedlings, loblolly pine planting density, white pine seedling handling and planting study, pre-commercial thinning of loblolly pine, riparian buffer planting success, and tree-of-heaven control methods.

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Forest Research Review 2008-04
Forest Research Review 2008-04

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: row orientation in loblolly pine growth, fertilizer x planting density effects on loblolly pine growth, varietal vs. open-pollinated loblolly pine, North Carolina and South Carolina families of loblolly pine in VA, longleaf pine establishment methods, longleaf pine provenances, biosolids for fertilizing loblolly pine, interplanting loblolly pine, and southern red oak crop tree release and fertilization.

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Forest Research Review 2008-10
Forest Research Review 2008-10

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: loblolly pine seed orchard management strategies, advances in pine plantation silviculture, longleaf pine grafting methods, competition control for shortleaf pine establishment, tip moth control methods for loblolly pine, tree-of-heaven control methods, and northern red oak planting.

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Forest Research Review 2009-04
Forest Research Review 2009-04

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: potential for continued loblolly pine tree improvement, effects of thinning and fertilization in loblolly pine, American chestnut breeding program, longleaf pine provenance study, biosolids for fertilizing loblolly pine, interplanting loblolly pine, tip moth control methods for loblolly pine, and southern red oak crop tree release and fertilization.

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Forest Research Review 2010-03
Forest Research Review 2010-03

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: loblolly pine site index, stem sinuosity in loblolly pine, longleaf pine establishment methods, American chestnut, effects of competing hardwoods on loblolly pine, white pine competition control and storage time, tip moth control methods for loblolly pine, white oak crop tree release and fertilization.

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Forest Research Review 2010-10
Forest Research Review 2010-10

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: Forest Modeling Research Cooperative, potential for pine plantation woody biomass, stem forking in loblolly pine, biosolids for fertilizing loblolly pine, interplanting loblolly pine, loblolly pine growth after age two hardwood control, site preparation vs. release for loblolly pine growth, initial seedling size and establishment methods for northern red oak.

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Forest Research Review 2011-05
Forest Research Review 2011-05

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: thinning and fertilization in mid-rotation loblolly pine, loblolly pine planting spacing, biosolids for fertilizing loblolly pine, timing of hardwood control in loblolly pine, longleaf pine provenance comparison, and white oak crop tree release.

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Forest Research Review 2012-08
Forest Research Review 2012-08

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: effects of pruning in loblolly pine, effects of planting density and fertilizer on loblolly pine growth, varietal vs open-pollinated loblolly pine, biosolids for fertilizing loblolly pine, shortleaf pine provenance test, interplanting loblolly pine, tree shelter comparison for red oak in riparian buffers, crop tree release and fertilization of white oak and southern red oak.

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Forest Research Review 2013-08
Forest Research Review 2013-08

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: fourth cycle loblolly pine tree breeding, spacing impacts on loblolly lumber quality, fertilizer fate and carbon sequestration in loblolly pine, logging slash for skid trail stabilization, longleaf pine provenances, growth and value of low-density loblolly pine plantations, projected value of interplanted loblolly pine, biosolids for fertilizing loblolly pine, growth and value of loblolly pine after site prep vs. release, hardwood plantations in central VA, tree shelters for northern red oak

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No. 002 Yellow-Poplar Growth and Yield Data on Selected Stands in Virginia; by R. L. Marler
No. 002 Yellow-Poplar Growth and Yield Data on Selected Stands in Virginia; by R. L. MarlerOR-002

Report provides field data on selected yellow-poplar stands gathered by the Virginia Division of Forestry in 1955. An effort was made to include field work measurements of existing plantings in addition to natural stands.

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No. 022 Yellow-Poplar Direct Seeding and Planting Study; by J. W. Hodge, Jr. and T. A. Dierauf
No. 022 Yellow-Poplar Direct Seeding and Planting Study; by J. W. Hodge, Jr. and T. A. DieraufOR-022

Report provides four-year results from a 1961-62 study comparing stratified and non-stratified seed on planted 1-0 seedlings of yellow-poplar on an old field in Augusta County, VA.

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No. 109 Effect of Initial Root Collar Diameter on Survival and Growth of Yellow Poplar Seedlings; by T. A. Dierauf and J. W. Garner
No. 109 Effect of Initial Root Collar Diameter on Survival and Growth of Yellow Poplar Seedlings; by T. A. Dierauf and J. W. GarnerOR-109Viewresearch-resource-information resource-informationpublication
No. 111 The Paul Forest Hardwood Pre-Commercial Thinning, Study at Age 27; by T. A. Dierauf, J. W. Hodge, and J. A. Scrivani
No. 111 The Paul Forest Hardwood Pre-Commercial Thinning, Study at Age 27; by T. A. Dierauf, J. W. Hodge, and J. A. ScrivaniOR-111Viewresearch-resource-information resource-informationpublication
No. 112 A Black Walnut Seed-Source-Elevation Study; by T. A. Dierauf and J. W. Garner
No. 112 A Black Walnut Seed-Source-Elevation Study; by T. A. Dierauf and J. W. GarnerOR-112Viewresearch-resource-information resource-informationpublication
No. 114 Natural Straightening of Young Black Walnut; by T. A. Dierauf and J. W. Garner
No. 114 Natural Straightening of Young Black Walnut; by T. A. Dierauf and J. W. GarnerOR-114Viewresearch-resource-information resource-informationpublication
No. 118 A Study of Diameter Growth in Black Walnut Stands; by T. A. Dierauf, J. W. Garner, and J. A. Scrivani
No. 118 A Study of Diameter Growth in Black Walnut Stands; by T. A. Dierauf, J. W. Garner, and J. A. ScrivaniOR-118Viewresearch-resource-information resource-informationpublication
No. 128 Growth Response of White Oak to Repeated Crop Tree Release and Fertilization
No. 128 Growth Response of White Oak to Repeated Crop Tree Release and FertilizationRR-128

Report of nine-year responses from a study installed in a 15-year-old mixed hardwood stand to assess the combined effects of crop tree release and fertilization on the growth of white oak.

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No. 137 Controlling American Holly with Basal Sprays of Triclopyr
No. 137 Controlling American Holly with Basal Sprays of TriclopyrRR-137

Report describes two-year results of a test of the herbicide triclopyr ester (product name Garlon 4 Ultra) applied as a basal spray to control American holly in the understory of mixed hardwood stands. Rates as low as 5% applied in February or 20% applied in March were highly effective.

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No. 141 Performance of Four Hybrid Poplars and Three Native Hardwoods in Plantations in Central Virginia at Age 14
No. 141 Performance of Four Hybrid Poplars and Three Native Hardwoods in Plantations in Central Virginia at Age 14RR-141

Report provides 14-year results of a test to compare plantations of three native hardwood species and four hybrid poplar crosses to loblolly pine for potential fiber production.  Of the eight species/hybrids tested, only one hybrid poplar cross – Populus trichocarpa x deltoides – survived and grew well.

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Oak Shelterwood: A Technique to Improve Oak Regeneration
Oak Shelterwood: A Technique to Improve Oak RegenerationSP-676

Article reviews a method of involving a well-timed, mid-story removal to improve the number and vigor of oak advance regeneration and a subsequent overstory removal to facilitate regeneration of the stand. Jeff Stringer, Extension Professor of Hardwood Silviculture, Department of Forestry, University of Kentucky.

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Success of Riparian Restoration Projects in the Mountains, Piedmont and Coastal Plain of Virginia
Success of Riparian Restoration Projects in the Mountains, Piedmont and Coastal Plain of Virginia

Report provides results from a summer 2006 evaluation of 63 CREP sites located in the Coastal Plain, Piedmont, and Ridge and Valley regions of VA. Findings indicated that additional efforts should be made to ensure fencing is maintained, species selections are based on site conditions, and invasive species are controlled. Benjamin N. Bradburn, W. Michael Aust, Mathew B. Carroll, Dean Cumbia, and Jerre Creighton.

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