Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Oxydendrum arboreum


Introductory

SPECIES: Oxydendrum arboreum
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Coladonato, Milo. 1992. Oxydendrum arboreum. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/ [].

ABBREVIATION : OXYARB SYNONYMS : NO-ENTRY SCS PLANT CODE : OXAR COMMON NAMES : sourwood sorrel-tree lily-of-the-valley-tree TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name for sourwood is Oxydendrum arboreum (L.) DC. [21]. Oxydendrum is a monotypic genus [15]. There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms. LIFE FORM : Tree FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


DISTRIBUTION AND OCCURRENCE

SPECIES: Oxydendrum arboreum
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Sourwood grows in upland forests of the southeastern United States.  It is found from southern Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, to southeastern Louisiana and the panhandle of Florida.  It also grows in the mountainous regions of Kentucky and Tennessee and along the Atlantic Coast from North Carolina to Virginia.  The main range of sourwood lies between 30 and 40 degrees N. and 75 and 92 degrees W.  Sourwood reaches its largest size on the western slopes of the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee [9,30,32]. ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine    FRES14  Oak - pine    FRES15  Oak - hickory STATES :      AL  FL  GA  KY  LA  MD  MS  NC  OH  PA      SC  TN  VA  WV BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS : NO-ENTRY KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K100  Oak - hickory forest    K104  Appalachian oak forest    K111  Oak - hickory - pine forest    K112  Southern mixed forest SAF COVER TYPES :     40  Post oak - blackjack oak     44  Chestnut oak     52  White oak - black oak - northern red oak     53  White oak     75  Shortleaf pine     76  Shortleaf pine - oak     78  Virginia pine - oak     79  Virginia pine     81  Loblolly pine     82  Loblolly pine - hardwood SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : NO-ENTRY

MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS

SPECIES: Oxydendrum arboreum
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : Sourwood is of little value as a commercial timber species.  The wood is used to make tool handles and for fuel.  Sourwood is used with a mixture of other species for pulp [30,41]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Sourwood sprouts are often browsed by white-tailed deer [14,30].  In a study on 35 acres (14 ha) of the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina, browse utilization of sourwood twigs by white-tailed deer was 74 percent [8]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : NO-ENTRY COVER VALUE : Sourwood snags provide cavity-nesting sites for various birds in southern Appalachian forests [24]. VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : NO-ENTRY OTHER USES AND VALUES : Sourwood is occasionally used as an ornamental because of the brilliant fall color of its leaves and midsummer flowers.  The flowers of sourwood are also an important source of honey [30,32]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Sourwood sprouts often compete with the establishment of more desirable species in second-growth and cutover areas [25,39].  Methods and effectiveness of herbicide treatment for controlling sourwood and other undesirable hardwoods have been given in detail [27,28,29,36]. Damaging Agents:  Several insects attack sourwood.  The dogwood-twig borer (Oberea tripunctata) and the twig girdler (Oncideres cingulata) attack the twigs.  The fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea) and the hickory horn devil (the larvae of the regal moth [Citheronia regalis]) consume the foliage.  There are no known serious diseases that affect sourwood [32].

BOTANICAL AND ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

SPECIES: Oxydendrum arboreum
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Sourwood is a native, deciduous, medium-sized tree, 40 to 60 feet (12-15 m) tall [13,30].  It develops a slender trunk and small crown in dense stands.  In the open it forms a short, often leaning trunk dividing into several stout, ascending limbs [32].  The inflorescence is a raceme emanating from a central axis.  The simple, alternate leaves are 4 to 7 inches (10-18 cm) long and variable in shape.  The fruit is a capsule 0.25 to 0.5 inch (6-13 mm) long containing many tiny seeds [9,23,42]. No information on the rooting habit of sourwood was found in the literature. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :       Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Seed production and dissemination:  Estimated seed production ranging from 1,850,000 to 5,500,000 seeds per pound (4,080,000-12,250,000 seeds/kg) has been reported [32,42].  The fruits are shed in the fall and the seeds are dispersed gradually throughout the winter by the dehiscing capsule.  Sourwood seeds germinate well without special treatment [32,33]. Seedling development:  Germination is epigeal.  Seedbed requirements for sourwood have not been reported.  In the Piedmont, sourwood seed germination and establishment may occur on litter and under partially shaded conditions.  Techniques for sourwood seed collection, storage, and germination have been described [32]. Vegetative reproduction:  Sourwood sprouts prolifically and persistently from the stump and root crown [11,17].  It is difficult to propagate from cuttings; no reports were found of propagation from grafting [32]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : In the central Appalachian Mountains sourwood is most abundant on subxeric open slopes and ridges occupied by chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), white oak (Q. alba), scarlet oak (Q. coccinea), and Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana).  It is less frequent on more mesic sites such as coves and sheltered slopes.  Throughout this area sourwood is found up to 5,000 feet (1,520 m) but rarely to 5,600 feet (1,710 m) in elevation [3,6,32]. Sourwood grows throughout the Piedmont uplands.  It is also found along Piedmont streams on well-drained lowland areas not subject to flooding. In the Coastal Plain it is found on gently rolling areas.  Toward the coast it is restricted to old dunes and well-drained slopes and ridges above streams and swamp borders.  Sourwood is commonly found growing on soils in the orders Ultisols, Inceptisols, and Entisols [5,26,32]. Other associates of sourwood in addition to the cover type species are sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), southern red oak (Q. falcata), red and sugar maple (Acer rubrum and A. saccharum), shagbark, bitternut, pignut, and mockernut hickory (Carya ovata, C. cordiformis, C. glabra, and C. tomentosa), white ash (Fraxinus americanus), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana), eastern hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), and redbud (Cercis canadensis) [2,18,32]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative seral species. Sourwood is shade tolerant.  In the Piedmont sourwood seedlings and saplings are found in all stages of successsion from young pine (Pinus spp.) stands to oak-hickory (Quercus spp.- Carya spp.)  forests. Sourwood's response to release is not known [7,32,35]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Sourwood blooms from late June to August; the fruit ripens from September through October [30,41].

FIRE ECOLOGY

SPECIES: Oxydendrum arboreum
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Sourwood has the ability to sprout from the root crown or stump following fire [4,11,16]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Tree with adventitious-bud root crown/root sucker

FIRE EFFECTS

SPECIES: Oxydendrum arboreum
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Low-severity fire typically top-kills sourwood [1,20].  Oosting [31] reports that a single high-severity ground fire completely eliminated sourwood from a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) community in North Carolina. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Sourwood is usually an increaser following low-severity fire [32]. Following an early summer prescribed fire on the Sumter National Forest in South Carolina, sourwood stem density increased from 33 stems per acre (82 stem/ha) to 420 stems per acre (1,040 stems/ha) [38].
DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF PLANT RESPONSE :
The following Research Project Summaries provide information on prescribed
fire use and postfire response of plant community species, including sourwood,
that was not available when this species review was originally
written:
FIRE MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : 
If used as a management tool, Trousdell [39] recommends one winter fire
followed by three summer fires as the treatment most effective in
controlling sourwood.






References for species: Oxydendrum arboreum


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17. Horsley, Stephen B. 1988. How vegetation can influence regeneration. In: Smith, H. Clay; Perkey, Arlyn W.; Kidd, William E., Jr, eds. Guidelines for regenerating Appalachian hardwood stands: Workshop proceedings; 1988 May 24-26; Morgantown, WV. Society of American Foresters Publ. 88-03. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Books: 38-54. [13544]
18. Horsley, Stephen B. 1988. How vegetation can influence regeneration. In: Smith, H. Clay; Perkey, Arlyn W.; Kidd, William E., Jr, eds. Guidelines for regenerating Appalachian hardwood stands: Workshop proceedings; 1988 May 24-26; Morgantown, WV. Society of American Foresters Publ. 88-03. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Books: 38-54. [13544]
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20. Langdon, O. Gordon. 1981. Some effects of prescribed fire on understory vegetation in loblolly pine stands. In: Wood, Gene W., ed. Prescribed fire and wildlife in southern forests: Proceedings of a symposium; 1981 April 6-8; Myrtle Beach, SC. Georgetown, SC: Clemson University, Belle W. Baruch Forest Science Institute: 143-153. [14821]
21. Little, Elbert L., Jr. 1979. Checklist of United States trees (native and naturalized). Agric. Handb. 541. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 375 p. [2952]
22. Lyon, L. Jack; Stickney, Peter F. 1976. Early vegetal succession following large northern Rocky Mountain wildfires. In: Proceedings, Tall Timbers fire ecology conference and Intermountain Fire Research Council fire and land management symposium; 1974 October 8-10; Missoula, MT. No. 14. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 355-373. [1496]
23. McComb, William C.; Muller, Robert N. 1983. Snag densities in old-growth and second-growth Appalachian forests. Journal of Wildlife Management. 47(2): 376-382. [13736]
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25. McMinn, James W. 1989. Influence of whole-tree harvesting on stand composition and structure in the oak-pine type. In: Waldrop, Thomas A., ed. Proceedings of pine-hardwood mixtures: a symposium on management and ecology of the type; 1989 April 18-19; Atlanta, GA. Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-58. Asheville, SC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station: 96-99. [10263]
26. Michael, J. L. 1985. Hardwood control by injection with two new chemicals. Proceedings of the Southern Weed Science Society. 38: 164-167. [12687]
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28. Neary, D. G.; Douglass, J. E.; Ruehle, J. L.; Fox, W. 1984. Converting rhododendron-laurel thickets to white pine with picloram and mycorrhizae-inoculated seedlings. Southern Journal of Applied Forestry. 8(3): 163-168. [10697]
29. Olson, David F., Jr.; Barnes, R. L. 1974. Oxydendrum arboreum (L.) DC. Sourwood. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agriculture Handbook No. 450. Washington: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 566-567. [7719]
30. Oosting, Henry J. 1944. The comparative effect of surface and crown fire on the composition of a loblolly pine community. Ecology. 25(1): 61-69. [9919]
31. Smith, H. Clay; Rosier, Robert L.; Hammack, K. P.. 1976. Reproduction 12 years after seed-tree harvest cutting in Appalachian hardwoods. Res. Pap. NE-350. Upper Darby, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 11 p. [10887]
32. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]
33. Sander, Ivan L. 1988. Guidelines for regenerating Appalachian oak stands. In: Smith, H. Clay; Perkey, Arlyn W.; Kidd, William E., Jr., eds. Guidelines for regenerating Appalachian hardwood stands: Workshop proceedings; 1988 May 24-26; Morgantown, WV. SAF Publ. 88-03. Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Books: 189-198. [13945]
34. Sluder, Earl R. 1958. Control of cull trees and weed species in hardwood stands. Station Paper 95. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station. 13 p. [16503]
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