Index of Species Information

SPECIES:  Quercus velutina


SPECIES: Quercus velutina
AUTHORSHIP AND CITATION : Carey, Jennifer H. 1992. Quercus velutina. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [].

ABBREVIATION : QUEVEL SYNONYMS : Quercus velutina var. missouriensis Sarg. Quercus leiodermis Ashe SCS PLANT CODE : QUVE COMMON NAMES : black oak yellow oak quercitron oak quercitron yellow-bark oak yellowbark oak yellow butt oak smooth-bark oak smoothbark oak TAXONOMY : The currently accepted scientific name of black oak is Quercus velutina Lam. [36]. It has been placed within the subgenus Erythrobalanus, or red (black) oak group [51,56]. The following rarely used forms have been distinguished on the basis of leaf lobe variation and pubescence [61]: Q. v. f. macrophylla (Dippel) Trel. Q. v. f. dilanianta Trel. Q. v. f. pagodaeformis Trel. There appears to be complete integration between the forms [61]. Some northern populations of black oak in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan have smaller acorns with less cup cover, lighter inner bark, smaller winter buds, and a more branching growth form than populations in southern Indiana [56]. Voss [64] suggests that these may be hybrids between black oak and northern red oak (Q. rubra) or scarlet oak (Q. coccinea). Black oak hybridizes with the following species [36,56]: x Q. coccinea (scarlet oak): Q. X fontana Laughlin x Q. ellipsoidalis (northern pin oak): Q. X palaeolithicola Trel. x Q. falcata (southern red oak): Q. X willdenowiana (Dippel) Zabel Q. X pinetorum Moldenke x Q. ilicifolia (bear oak): Q. X rehderi Trel. x Q. imbricaria (shingle oak): Q. X leana Nutt. x Q. incana (bluejack oak): Q. X podophylla Trel. x Q. marilandica (blackjack oak): Q. X bushii Sarg. x Q. nigra (water oak): Q. X demarei Ashe x Q. palustris (pin oak): Q. X vaga Palmer & Steyerm. x Q. phellos (willow oak): Q. X filialis Little x Q. rubra (northern red oak): Q. X hawkinsiae Sudw. x Q. shumardii (Shumard oak): Q. X discreta Laughlin LIFE FORM : Tree FEDERAL LEGAL STATUS : No special status OTHER STATUS : NO-ENTRY


SPECIES: Quercus velutina
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION : Black oak is widely distributed throughout the eastern and central United States and extreme southwestern Ontario, Canada.  In the United States, black oak occurs from southwestern Maine west to southern Wisconsin and southeastern Minnesota; south through Iowa to eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, central Oklahoma, and eastern Texas; and east to northwestern Florida and Georgia [56]. ECOSYSTEMS :    FRES10  White - red - jack pine    FRES13  Loblolly - shortleaf pine    FRES14  Oak - pine    FRES15  Oak - hickory    FRES18  Maple - beech - birch    FRES39  Prairie STATES :      AL  AR  CT  DE  FL  GA  IL  IN  IA  KS      KY  LA  ME  MD  MA  MI  MN  MS  MO  NE      NH  NJ  NY  NC  OH  OK  PA  RI  SC  TN      TX  VT  VA  WV  WI  ON BLM PHYSIOGRAPHIC REGIONS :    14  Great Plains KUCHLER PLANT ASSOCIATIONS :    K081  Oak savanna    K082  Mosaic of K074 and K100    K083  Cedar glades    K095  Great Lakes pine forest    K100  Oak - hickory forest    K102  Beech - maple forest    K104  Appalachian oak forest    K110  Northeastern oak - pine forest    K111  Oak - hickory - pine forest    K112  Southern mixed forest SAF COVER TYPES :     14  Northern pin oak     40  Post oak - blackjack oak     42  Bur oak     43  Bear oak     44  Chestnut oak     45  Pitch pine     46  Eastern redcedar     51  White pine - chestnut oak     52  White oak - black oak - northern red oak     53  White oak     55  Northern red oak     57  Yellow-poplar     58  Yellow-poplar - eastern hemlock     59  Yellow-poplar - white oak - northern red oak     60  Beech - sugar maple     75  Shortleaf pine     76  Shortleaf pine - oak     78  Virginia pine - oak     79  Virginia pine     80  Loblolly pine - shortleaf pine     82  Loblolly pine - hardwood    110  Black oak SRM (RANGELAND) COVER TYPES : NO-ENTRY HABITAT TYPES AND PLANT COMMUNITIES : Black oak is a common component of many eastern and central upland deciduous forests.  Black oak also occurs in savannas in the transition zone between the eastern deciduous forests and the western prairies. The following published classifications list black oak as a dominant or codominant species: Deciduous forest [23] Classification of forest ecosystems in Michigan [53] The natural communities of South Carolina [46] A classification of the deciduous forest of eastern North America [45] Forest vegetation of the lower Alabama Piedmont [19] Old-growth forests within the Piedmont of South Carolina [30] Plant communities of the Coastal Plains of North Carolina and their    successional relations [66] Ecological species groups of oak ecosystems of southeastern Michigan [6] Presettlement vegetation of Lake County, Indiana [7]


SPECIES: Quercus velutina
WOOD PRODUCTS VALUE : The wood of black oak, which is light brown with a nearly white sapwood, is sold as "red oak" and used for furniture, flooring, and interior finishing [25,56].  It is also used for barrels and railroad ties [61]. IMPORTANCE TO LIVESTOCK AND WILDLIFE : Black oak acorns provide food for numerous wildlife species including squirrels, mice, voles, white-tailed deer, and wild turkey.  In Illinois, fox squirrels have been seen feeding on black oak catkins [56]. Black oak has a high cavity value for wildlife [15].  Trunk cavities in live black oaks were important nest sites for the northern flicker on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts.  Mean nest height was approximately 3.3 feet (1 m) above the ground [43]. PALATABILITY : NO-ENTRY NUTRITIONAL VALUE : Black oak acorns are 5.7 percent crude protein, 17.5 percent crude fat, 0.19 percent calcium, and 0.10 percent phosphorus [58]. COVER VALUE : NO-ENTRY VALUE FOR REHABILITATION OF DISTURBED SITES : Black oak naturally regenerated on abandoned lead-zinc mine sites in Wisconsin and Iowa.  The soil has high concentrations of lead and zinc, but soil pH is not very low [9].  Minor amounts of black oak were planted on Indiana surface mines between 1928 and 1975 [10], but its success on these sites has not been documented in the literature. OTHER USES AND VALUES : The bark of black oak contains enough tannin to make commercial extraction worthwhile.  A yellow dye, suitable for coloring natural fibers, can be obtained by boiling the inner bark [28]. OTHER MANAGEMENT CONSIDERATIONS : Forest managers have noticed a decrease in black oak frequency in newly regenerated stands after clearcutting, especially on good sites.  The reason for the decrease is the inability of oak seedlings to compete successfully with faster growing species in the absence of fire.  Oak seedlings that are repeatedly top-killed develop well-developed root systems, and the sprouts (advance regeneration) grow faster than true seedlings and are better able to compete successfully.  To regenerate oaks successfully, advance regeneration must be 4 to 5 feet (1.2-1.5 m) tall before the overstory is removed.  Successful regeneration of a mixed oak forest can be accomplished by clearcutting only if there are adequate numbers of large advance regeneration [56].  Otherwise, a shelterwood silviculture system is recommended in order to allow advance oak regeneration to grow [55,56]. In a study designed to determine the optimum light levels necessary for shelterwood regeneration, there was no significant difference in black oak diameter and height growth between 20 and 94 percent transmission of full light.  Black oak diameter and height growth was poor under 8 percent of full light, which is similar to uncut stands.  It was recommended that shelterwoods be cut to permit 20 to 60 percent light transmission [20]. In a shelterwood cut in Arkansas, understory control (cutting of nonoak stems and spraying stumps with 2,4-D and picloram immediately after cutting) resulted in an increase in the number of black oak, white oak (Quercus alba), and northern red oak regeneration in the 1.1 to 5 foot (0.3-1.5 m) height class and the over 5 foot (> 1.5 m) class [21].  The application of nitrogen fertilizer in a shelterwood cut did not stimulate the growth of black oak, white oak, or northern red oak advance regeneration.  The fertilizer may have even decreased the drought tolerance of oaks.  During a drought in 1980, more seedlings died on fertilized plots than on nonfertilized plots [22]. The use of a shelterwood system does not guarantee the continued regeneration of black oak.  On a sandy loam site in Michigan, black oak, which formed two-thirds of the original stand, was reduced 50 percent during the 20-year period following the initiation of a shelterwood harvest.  While the shelterwood system was better for oak regeneration than group or single tree selection systems, the regenerated stand will have more red maple (Acer rubrum), black cherry (Prunus serotina), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), dogwood (Cornus spp.), and hickory (Carya spp.) and less black oak than the original stand [55]. Once black oak is regenerated on a site, thinning of a stand can increase the growth of remaining trees.  Thirty-two-year-old black oaks showed 10 to 12 years of increased differential diameter growth after thinning [14].  Black oak is susceptible to a number of diseases and insects.  Oak wilt, caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum, is a vascular disease that is spread by sap-feeding beetles (Nitidulidae spp.), oak bark beetle (Pseudopityophthorus minutissimum), and natural root grafts.  The tree usually dies within several weeks after the symptoms of wilting, bronzing, and premature leaf defoliation appear [56]. Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar), an introduced species, defoliates black oak, and two or three successive defoliations can kill a tree.  It is potentially the most destructive insect to black oak [56]. Black oaks that are stressed from drought, gypsy moth defoliation, old age, fire, poor site conditions, or other factors often succumb to secondary agents such as twolined chestnut borer (Agrilus bilineatus), Hypoxylon canker (Hypoxylon mammatum), and shoestring root rot (Armillaria mellea).  This scenario, in which a primary agent stresses the tree and a secondary agent kills it, is known as "oak decline" and is responsible for considerable black oak mortality.  For instance, between 1911 and 1921, 46 percent of black oaks in coastal regions of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine died when gypsy moth defoliation and drought was followed by twolined chestnut borer and shoestring root rot attack [44].  Based on site factors, a general stand classification of mortality risk from oak decline has been developed [60]. Foliage diseases include anthracnose (Gnomonia quercina), leaf blister (Taphrina spp.), powdery mildews (Phyllactinia corylea and Microsphaera alni), oak-pine rusts (Cronartium spp.), and leaf spots (Actinopelte dryina).  A root rot, Phytophthora cinnamomi, kills seedlings in nurseries.  Strumella spp. and Nectria spp. cause bole cankers [56]. Tunneling insects that attack black oak boles include carpenterworm (Prionoxystus robiniae), red oak borer (Enaphalodes rufulus), oak timberworm (Arrhenodes minutes), and Columbian timber beetle (Corthylus columbianus).  Oakleaf caterpillar (Heterocampa manteo), orange striped oakworm (Anisota senatoria), and browntail moth (Euproctis chrysorrhoea) defoliate black oak.  Acorns are damaged by nut weevils (Curculio spp.), gall-forming cynipids (Callirhytis spp.), filbertworm (Melissopus latiferreanus), and acorn moth (Valentinia glandulella) [56].  Black oaks that had recently invaded a prairie in Illinois were successfully removed by cutting stems (mostly smaller than 4 inches [10.2 cm] in d.b.h.) and painting stumps with 2,4-D and 2,4,5-T mixed with fuel oil to prevent sprouting [32].


SPECIES: Quercus velutina
GENERAL BOTANICAL CHARACTERISTICS : Black oak is a medium- to large-sized, native, deciduous tree with an irregularly rounded crown [56].  In a forest, the trunk is usually branch-free for half the height of the tree [28].  Individuals may live 150 to 200 years.  On good sites, black oak may reach 150 feet (46 m) in height and 48 inches (122 cm) in d.b.h., but most trees are 60 to 80 feet (18-24 m) tall and 24 to 36 inches (61-91 cm) in d.b.h. [56]. Black oak has a deep taproot and deep and widespreading lateral roots [28]. RAUNKIAER LIFE FORM :       Phanerophyte REGENERATION PROCESSES : Sexual:  Black oak is monoecious.  Seed production begins when the tree is about 20 years old, with maximum production occurring between ages 40 and 75.  Black oak is a consistent seed producer, with good acorn crops every 2 to 3 years.  Seed dissemination is by squirrels, mice, bluejays, and other animals, and by gravity.  Rodents and birds often cache acorns in the soil [56]. Germination is hypogeal.  Burial in or contact with mineral soil and coverage with a light layer of leaves are favorable conditions for acorn germination [56].  In a study of black oak and white oak regeneration of an old field in Michigan, seedlings were more likely to establish initially in open patches because blue jays preferentially choose open sites to cache acorns.  However, seedlings that colonized open patches were not likely to survive beyond the first several years unless the patch was subsequently invaded by herbaceous vegetation [24]. Seedling growth is slow; average annual height growth of seedlings in Missouri during a 6-year period was 2.1 inches (5.3 cm) [35].  Seedlings can survive drought conditions [56]. Vegetative:  Black oak sprouts from the root collar if top-killed or cut.  Younger individuals are more likely to sprout than older individuals.  The probability that a stump with a 1-year-old sprout will have at least one dominant or codominant sprout at age 5 is predictable from stump diameter.  The probability ranges from 1.0 for 3-inch (7.6 cm) stump diameters to 0.15 for 30-inch (76 cm) stump diameters [56]. Black oak has a low tolerance for multiple sprouts and tends toward the survival of a single sprout per stump.  In one study, 5, 15, and 25 years after cutting, the average number of sprouts per stump was 7.5, 2.2, and 1.0 respectively [42]. Seedlings often die back and sprout numerous times, thus becoming advance regeneration.  The roots of black oak saplings may be 10 to 20 years older than the tops [56].  Sprouts grow faster than seedlings. Average annual height growth of sprouts in Missouri during a 6-year period was 6.1 inches (15.5 cm) [35].  Generally, the bigger the old stem is, the faster the height growth of its sprouts [56]. SITE CHARACTERISTICS : Black oak, an upland xerophytic species, can occur on all aspects and slope positions, but tends to be more abundant on the drier southerly and westerly aspects and on upper slopes and ridges [16,56].  Black oak does not appear to be site-sensitive.  Its occurrence is more due to fortuitous circumstance than inherent habitat requirements [16]. Although it grows best on moist, rich, well-drained sites, it is sensitive to competition on these sites and is more often found on dry, nutrient-poor, coarse-textured soils [56].  Black oak does not occur on the serpentine soils of the Maryland Piedmont [68].  It often grows on sandy or gravelly sites or heavy glacial clay hillsides.  Black oak is found up to 4,000 feet (1,200 m) in the southern Appalachian Mountains [56]. Black oak is less drought tolerant than post oak (Q. stellata), but more tolerant than northern red oak and about as tolerant as white oak [57]. Its predominance on southerly and westerly aspects may be due in part to drought tolerance.  In addition, the increased solar radiation on these sites may facilitate early establishment and eventual dominance of black oak [49].   Overstory associates of black oak not mentioned in Distribution and Occurrence include pignut hickory (Carya glabra), mockernut hickory (C. tomentosa), bitternut hickory (C. cordiformis), shagbark hickory (C. ovata), American elm (Ulmus americana), slippery elm (U. rubra), white ash (Fraxinus americana), black walnut (Juglans nigra), butternut (J. cinerea), southern red oak, scarlet oak, chinquapin oak (Q. muehlenbergii), red maple (Acer rubrum), black cherry, and blackgum (Nyssa sylvatica) [56]. Common small tree associates include sassafras, flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum), eastern hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana), redbud (Cercis canadensis), pawpaw (Asimina triloba), downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), and American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) [56]. Common shrub associates include blueberry (Vaccinium spp.), mountain-laurel (Kalmia latifolia), witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), beaked hazel (Corylus cornuta), spicebush (Lindera benzoin), sumac (Rhus spp.), and Viburnum spp. [56]. Herbaceous plants associated with black oak in sand savannas include little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica), and Coreopsis spp. [8]. SUCCESSIONAL STATUS : Facultative Seral Species Black oak is intermediate in shade tolerance.  It is more tolerant than black cherry or shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata), but less tolerant than white oak, chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), hickories, maples (Acer spp.), elms (Ulmus spp.), beech (Betula spp.), or blackgum.  Light is required to recruit black oak seedlings into the sapling stage; seedlings eventually die under a closed-canopy forest [29,56]. Black oak replaces pines (Pinus spp.) on heavily cutover areas.  It succeeds sassafras and common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) on upland old fields [16].  In the Hudson River Valley in New York, stands dominated by white oak, black oak, and pignut hickory occur on rocky, nutrient-poor sites.  The open canopy, less distinct vertical stratification of canopy trees, and diverse herbaceous understory suggest these forests gradually invade old pasture sites [18]. Black oaks woodlands began invading savannas in Northern Illinois 2 to 3 years after the construction of roads which acted as functional firebreaks [50].  In the past, the high presettlement fire frequency in grasslands prevented black oak expansion [1] The importance of black oak in many forests has declined since human settlement.  In the absence of disturbance such as fire or windthrow, black oak is succeeded by more shade-tolerant, mesophytic species.  A decline in black oak has been documented in an old-growth oak-hickory forest in southwestern Illinois.  Black oak had been dominant in the forest since 1821, but it decreased in density and basal area between 1956 and 1983 due to senescence.  Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) has increased in the forest.  It is believed that black oak originally established on this site after the New Madrid Earthquake in 1811 or after a hurricane shortly after the earthquake, both of which caused much downed timber [59]. In the late 1700's and 1800's in Pennsylvania, massive logging to provide wood for charcoal-fueled iron furnaces was accompanied by wildfires.  The combination of logging and fire increased the relative dominance of oaks, including black oak.  In the 20th century, fire was suppressed and eventual logging of stands with understories dominated by red maple, sugar maple, and black cherry accelerated the recruitment of these mesophytic species into the canopy [2]. In the Hudson River valley in New York, early land surveys indicate the white oak-black oak-hickory type was prevalent prior to forest clearing. Since abandonment from agriculture, the type has returned but is not nearly as important as it was.  The percent occurrence of black oak in these forests was 15.3 percent in the period before 1800 and only 4.1 percent in 1984 [18]. In a black oak-white oak forest in southern Wisconsin, white oak is replacing black oak.  Black oak, which is more susceptible to oak wilt than white oak, is dying.  White oak is not regenerating in the forest but because it is a longer lived, slower growing species, it is now replacing black oak [41]. Succession is slow or unlikely in some oak forests on extremely xeric or nutrient poor sites [1].  Blackjack oak and black oak forests on extremely xeric, upland sites in Illinois did not exhibit signs of being replaced by late successional species.  Self-maintenance was evident as blackjack oak and black oak were important species in the sapling and seedling layers as well as the overstory [3].  Even in the absence of fire, succession towards a richer, mesophytic forest appears slow or unlikely in a black oak-blueberry community on the Lake Michigan sand dunes.  Black oak has low nutrient requirements and is relatively ineffective in returning nutrients to the dune surface in its litter.  The well-leached dunes remain dry and nutrient poor. Fire aggravates these conditions and helps perpetuate black oak on these sites [52]. Some of the most xeric sites of the South Carolina Piedmont are occupied by old-growth communities of black oak, post oak, and blueridge blueberry (Vaccinium vacillans).  Although the community appears to be in steady state, it may evolve into a hickory-dominated community in the absence of fire [30]. SEASONAL DEVELOPMENT : Staminate flowers develop from leaf axils of the previous year.  Catkins emerge before or at the same time as the current year's leaves, usually in April or May.  Acorns mature in two growing seasons.  The acorns ripen from late August to October depending on geographic location, drop in the fall, and germinate in the spring [56].


SPECIES: Quercus velutina
FIRE ECOLOGY OR ADAPTATIONS : Black oak is moderately resistant to fire [11].  Small black oaks are easily top-killed by fire but sprout vigorously from the root crown [56].  Larger black oaks can withstand low-severity surface fire because of moderately thick basal bark.  They are susceptible to basal wounding [11]. The prevalent presettlement upland oak forests in the eastern and central United States were associated with recurring fire.  These forests probably burned at an intermediate frequency (50 to 100 year intervals) which promoted the dominance and stability of oak [1].  Fire provides opportunity for establishment of the more fire-resistant oak species such as black oak [34].  Black oak is characteristic as a community dominant only where major disturbances periodically open the canopy [25].  In dry black oak savannas in Illinois and Wisconsin, an age analysis of black oaks showed that recruitment of the oaks to the canopy was related to distinct events, most likely fire.  Fire top-kills the mesic hardwood understory and allows oak sprouts to compete successfully [5]. Oak-hickory forest floors are usually not conducive to high-severity fires, but fires are easily ignited.  The total forest floor fuelbed weight in a 20-year-old stand of black oak in southeast Missouri averaged 6.4 tons per acre (14.3 t/ha), 2.0 tons per acre (4.8 t/ha) of which was loose leaf litter.  Forty-year-old stands averaged 8.3 tons of forest floor per acre (18.6 t/ha), including 2.9 tons per acre (6.5 t/ha) of loose litter [13]. Because of the reduction in wildfire frequency, oak-hickory forests are converting to more mixed mesophytic stands.  Fifty-five years after a late summer fire in south-central Connecticut, the burned area had higher absolute and relative amounts of oak (black, white, scarlet, chestnut, and northern red) than the adjacent unburned area [65].  In Indiana, late successional species (red maple, sassafras, and blackgum) were present in a black oak-dominated community in Indiana where fire had been suppressed.  In an adjacent but remote black oak community, late successional species were not present because fires burned longer before being noticed and suppressed.  In the more frequently burned area, overstory trees were rarely killed by fire, and an open understory was maintained.  Where infrequent, fires killed larger trees and promoted the formation of an understory thicket [25]. Black oak is restricted from the pine-scrub oak communities of the New Jersey Pine Barrens because it does not produce viable seed at a young enough age to become established in areas that burn every 8 to 12 years [37]. POSTFIRE REGENERATION STRATEGY :    Tree with adventitious-bud root crown/root sucker


SPECIES: Quercus velutina
IMMEDIATE FIRE EFFECT ON PLANT : Black oak up to pole size (about 4 inches [10.2 cm] in d.b.h.) are easily top-killed by fire, and severe fire may even top-kill saw-timber-sized black oak [56]. Multistemmed black oak clumps are more susceptible to fire than a single-stemmed sapling because leaves and other litter get trapped in the clump and promote a hot fire around the multiple stems [26]. In the eastern highlands of Connecticut, a March prescribed fire was conducted in a black oak-black cherry forest and an oak (Quercus spp.)-sweet birch (Betula lenta) forest.  All black oak in the black oak-black cherry forest survived the fire.  In the oak-sweet birch forest, where surface litter fire temperatures reached 600 degrees Fahrenheit (315 deg C), about 25 percent of black oak less than 4 inches (<10.2 cm) in d.b.h. were top-killed, but less than 5 percent were root-killed.  Approximately 95 percent of black oak between 4 and 12 inches (10.2-30.5 cm) survived the fire.  Larger black oak (10 to 13 inches [25-32.5 cm] in d.b.h) exposed to external temperatures of 129 degrees Fahrenheit (54 deg C) for 7 minutes survived [48]. Prescribed fire in an oak woods in the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore top-killed about 50 percent of the black oak.  The litter in the oak woods produced relatively low aboveground temperatures and total kill of black oak was infrequent.  Two areas with two and three fires during the subsequent 4-year period averaged 3.71 and 3.65 percent total mortality per year respectively.  The unburned control averaged 2.1 percent total mortality per year [12]. In an April prescribed fire in an oak savanna in southern Wisconsin, damage to woody species (including black oak) was dependent on the type of fuel within 12 inches (30 cm) of the stem base.  Cool season grass fuel caused more fire damage than predominantly oak leaf fuel.  Dry weight fuel load ranged from 0.60 to 0.75 ounce per square foot (200-250 g/sq m) in leaves and from 0.90 to 1.05 ounce per square foot (300-350 g/sq m) in grass [27]. DISCUSSION AND QUALIFICATION OF FIRE EFFECT : NO-ENTRY PLANT RESPONSE TO FIRE : Black oak individuals, including seedlings, sprout from the root crown when top-killed. The density of black oak stems generally increases after fire because of sprouting.  Two growing seasons after two annual fires in an oak-pine stand in the Cumberland Plateau in Kentucky, black oak and scarlet oak stems increased from a prefire density of approximately 1,250 stems per acre (3,090 stems/ha) to a postfire density of approximately 1,750 stems per acre (4,320 stems/ha) [67].  Sprouting of top-killed black oak in prescribed fires in the Indiana Dune National Lakeshore also increased the shrub coverage of black oak [12]. More frequent fire may eventually reduce black oak sprouting, however, because root systems are weakened.  Five fires in 8 years (three in the spring and two in the fall) reduced black oak sprouting in a black oak sand savanna in Indiana [8]. Black oak acorns in the litter may survive a low-severity fire [62], but no conclusive evidence of this was found in the literature.
The following Research Project Summaries provide information on prescribed
fire use and postfire response of plant community species, including black
oak, that was not available when this species review was originally
Prescribed fire is used to control oak invasion of prairies [4].
Because of prolific sprouting of hardwoods, including black oak,
prescribed burning is not recommended for controlling hardwood
competition during shortleaf pine regeneration on the Cumberland Plateau
in Kentucky [67].

Equations for the estimation of fire-caused mortality have been
developed for black oak.  In order to predict mortality, a manager needs
to know the tree d.b.h., the height of bark blackening, the width of
bark blackening 1 foot above the ground, and the season of fire.  The
equation should only be applied to trees between 3 and 16 inches
(7.6-40.6 cm) in d.b.h. [39]].  Equations have also been developed to
predict lumber value losses due to fire wounding of black oak [38].
An equation has been developed to predict the size of a fire wound
on a black oak from the area of the exterior discolored bark and the
diameter of the damaged tree [47].

References for species: Quercus velutina

1. Abrams, Marc D. 1992. Fire and the development of oak forests. BioScience. 42(5): 346-353. [19215]
2. Abrams, Marc D.; Nowacki, Gregory J. 1992. Historical variation in fire, oak recruitment, and post-logging accelerated succession in central Pennsylvania. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 119(1): 19-28. [18210]
3. Adams, Dwight E.; Anderson, Roger C. 1980. Species response to a moisture gradient in central Illinois forests. American Journal of Botany. 67(3): 381-392. [13295]
4. Adams, Dwight E.; Anderson, Roger C.; Collins, Scott L. 1982. Differential response of woody and herbaceous species to summer and winter burning in an Oklahoma grassland. The Southwestern Naturalist. 27: 55-61. [6282]
5. Apfelbaum, Steven I.; Haney, Alan W. 1990. Management of degraded oak savanna remnants in the upper Midwest: preliminary results from three years of study. In: Hughes, H. Glenn; Bonnicksen, Thomas M., eds. Restoration `89: the new management challenge: Proceedings, 1st annual meeting of the Society for Ecological Restoration; 1989 January 16-20; Oakland, CA. Madison, WI: The University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Society for Ecological Restoration: 280-291. [14705]
6. Archambault, Louis; Barnes, Burton V.; Witter, John A. 1989. Ecological species groups of oak ecosystems of southeastern Michigan. Forest Science. 35(4): 1058-1074. [9768]
7. Bacone, John A.; Campbell, Ronald K. 1983. Presettlement vegetation of Lake County, Indiana. In: Kucera, Clair L., ed. Proceedings of the 7th North American prairie conference; 1980 August 4-6; Springfield, MO. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri: 27-37. [3192]
8. Alexander, Robert R.; Edminster, Carleton B. 1980. Management of ponderosa pine in even-aged stands in the Southwest. Res. Pap. RM-225. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. 11 p. [15585]
9. Blewett, Thomas J. 1988. Natural forest recovery of lead pit mines. Restoration & Management Notes. 6(2): 92-93. [6140]
10. Brothers, Timothy S. 1988. Indiana surface-mine forests: historical development and composition of a human-created vegetation complex. Southeastern Geographer. 28(1): 19-33. [8787]
11. Brown, Arthur A.; Davis, Kenneth P. 1973. Forest fire control and use. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill. 686 p. [15993]
12. Cole, Kenneth L.; Benjamin, Pamela K.; Klick, Kenneth F. 1990. The effects of prescribed burning on oak woods and prairies in the Indiana Dunes. Restoration & Management Notes. 8(1): 37-38. [13552]
13. Crosby, John S.; Loomis, Robert M. 1974. Some forest floor fuelbed characteristics of black oak stands in southeast Missouri. NC-162. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 4 p. [8153]
14. Cutter, Bruce E.; Lowell, Kim E.; Dwyer, John P. 1991. Thinning effects on diameter growth in black and scarlet oak as shown by tree ring analyses. Forest Ecology and Management. 43: 1-13. [16684]
15. DeGraaf, Richard M; Shigo, Alex L. 1985. Managing cavity trees for wildlife in the Northeast. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-101. Broomall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 21 p. [13481]
16. Eyre, F. H., ed. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Washington, DC: Society of American Foresters. 148 p. [905]
17. Garrison, George A.; Bjugstad, Ardell J.; Duncan, Don A.; [and others]. 1977. Vegetation and environmental features of forest and range ecosystems. Agric. Handb. 475. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 68 p. [998]
18. Glitzenstein, Jeff S.; Canham, Charles D.; McDonnell, Mark J.; Streng, Donna R. 1990. Effects of environment and land-use history on upland forests of the Cary Arboretum, Hudson Valley, New York. Bulletin of the Torrey Botanical Club. 117(2): 106-122. [13301]
19. Golden, Michael S. 1979. Forest vegetation of the lower Alabama Piedmont. Ecology. 60(4): 770-782. [9643]
20. Gottschalk, Kurt W. 1985. Effects of shading on growth and development of northern red oak, black oak, black cherry, and red maple seedlings. I. Height, diameter, and ... In: Dawson, Jeffrey O.; Majerus, Kimberly A, eds. 5th Central Hardwood Forest Conference; 1985 April 15 - April 17; Urbana-Champaign, IL. Urbana-Champaign, IL: University of Illinois, Department of Forestry: 189-195. [12648]
21. Graney, David L. 1989. Growth of oak, ash, and cherry reproduction following overstory thinning and understory control in upland hardwood stands of northern Arkansas. SO-74. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 245- p. [12548]
22. Graney, David L.; Rogerson, Thomas L. 1985. Development of oak, ash and cherry reproduction following thinning and fertilization of upland hardwood stands in the Boston Mtns. of Arkansas. SO-54. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 171-7 p. [12525]
23. Greller, Andrew M. 1988. Deciduous forest. In: Barbour, Michael G.; Billings, William Dwight, eds. North American terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press: 288-316. [19544]
24. Harrison, Janet S.; Werner, Patricia A. 1984. Colonization by oak seedlings into a heterogeneous successional habitat. Canadian Journal of Botany. 62: 559-563. [11979]
25. Henderson, Norman R.; Long, James N. 1984. A comparison of stand structure and fire history in two black oak woodlands in northwestern Indiana. Botanical Gazette. 145(2): 222-228. [8721]
26. Henderson, Richard. 1983. Fire tolerance of black cherry and black oak saplings in a savanna. Restoration & Management Notes. 1(4): 17. [16791]
27. Henderson, Richard A. 1986. Response of seedling and sapling trees to a spring fire in a Wisconsin oak opening. In: Koonce, Andrea L., ed. Prescribed burning in the Midwest: state-of-the-art: Proceedings of a symposium; 1986 March 3-6; Stevens Point, WI. Stevens Point, WI: University of Wisconsin, College of Natural Resources, Fire Science Center: 81-85. [16272]
28. Hosie, R. C. 1969. Native trees of Canada. 7th ed. Ottawa, ON: Canadian Forestry Service, Department of Fisheries and Forestry. 380 p. [3375]
29. Johnson, Paul S. 1992. Oak overstory/reproduction relations in two xeric ecosystems in Michigan. Forest Ecology and Management. 48: 233-248. [18157]
30. Jones, Steven M. 1988. Old-growth forests within the Piedmont of South Carolina. Natural Areas Journal. 8(1): 31-37. [11008]
31. Kartesz, John T.; Kartesz, Rosemarie. 1980. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. Volume II: The biota of North America. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press; in confederation with Anne H. Lindsey and C. Richie Bell, North Carolina Botanical Garden. 500 p. [6954]
32. Kilburn, Paul D. 1970. Hill prairie restoration. In: Schramm, Peter, ed. Proceedings of a symposium on prairie and prairie restoration; 1968 September 14-15; Galesburg, IL. Special Publication No. 3. Galesburg, IL: Knox College, Biological Field Station: 50-51. [2785]
33. Kuchler, A. W. 1964. Manual to accompany the map of potential vegetation of the conterminous United States. Special Publication No. 36. New York: American Geographical Society. 77 p. [1384]
34. Kurz, Herman. 1944. Secondary forest succession in the Tallahassee Red Hills. Proceedings, Florida Academy of Science. 7(1): 59-100. [10799]
35. Liming, Franklin G.; Johnston, John P. 1944. Reproduction in oak-hickory forest stands of the Missouri ozarks. Journal of Forestry. 42(2): 175-180. [8722]
36. 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]
37. Little, S. 1964. Fire ecology and forest management in the New Jersey pine region. In: Proceedings, 3rd annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1964 April 9-10; Tallahassee, FL. No. 3. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 35-59. [5893]
38. Loomis, Robert M. 1974. Predicting the losses in sawtimber volume and quality from fires in oak-hickory forests. NC-104. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 6 p. [8712]
39. Loomis, Robert M. 1973. Estimating fire-caused mortality and injury in oak-hickory forests. Res. Pap. NC-94. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 6 p. [8740]
40. 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]
41. McCune, Bruce; Cottam, Grant. 1985. The successional status of a southern Wisconsin oak woods. Ecology. 66(4): 1270-1278. [19218]
42. McIntyre, A. C. 1936. Sprout groups and their relation to the oak forests of Pennsylvania. Journal of Forestry. 34: 1054-1058. [10086]
43. Miller, Eileen; Miller, Donald R. 1980. Snag use by birds. In: DeGraaf, Richard M., technical coordinator. Management of western forests and grasslands for nongame birds; 1980 February 11-14; Salt Lake City, UT. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-86. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station: 337-356. [17914]
44. Millers, Imants; Shriner, David S.; Rizzo, David. 1989. History of hardwood decline in the eastern United States. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-126. Bromall, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station. 75 p. [10925]
45. Monk, Carl D.; Imm, Donald W.; Potter, Robert L.; Parker, Geoffrey G. 1989. A classification of the deciduous forest of eastern North America. Vegetatio. 80: 167-181. [9297]
46. Nelson, John B. 1986. The natural communities of South Carolina. Columbia, SC: South Carolina Wildlife & Marine Resources Department. 54 p. [15578]
47. Nelson, Ralph M.; Sims, Ivan H.; Abell, Margaret S. 1933. Basal fire wounds on some southern Appalachian hardwoods. Journal of Forestry. 31: 829-837. [160]
48. Niering, William A.; Goodwin, Richard H.; Taylor, Sally. 1971. Prescribed burning in southern New England: introduction to long-range studies. In: Proceedings, annual Tall Timbers fire ecology conference; 1970 August 20-21; Fredericton, NB. No. 10. Tallahassee, FL: Tall Timbers Research Station: 267-286. [15704]
49. Nowacki, Gregory J.; Abrams, Marc D. 1992. Community, edaphic, and historical analysis of mixed oak forests of the Ridge and Valley Province in central Pennsylvania. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 22: 790-800. [19216]
50. Nuzzo, Victoria A. 1986. Extent and status of midwest oak savanna: presettlement and 1985. Natural Areas Journal. 6(2): 6-36. [19217]
51. Olson, David F., Jr. 1974. Quercus L. oak. In: Schopmeyer, C. S., ed. Seeds of woody plants in the United States. Agric. Handb. 450. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 692-703. [7737]
52. Olson, Jerry S. 1958. Rates of succession and soil changes on southern Lake Michigan sand dunes. Botanical Gazette. 119(3): 125-170. [10557]
53. Pregitzer, Kurt S.; Ramm, Carl W. 1984. Classification of forest ecosystems in Michigan. In: Bockheim, James G., ed. Forest land classification: experiences, problems, perspectives: Proceedings of a symposium; 1984 March 18-20; Madison, WI. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Department of Soil Science: 114-131. [12779]
54. Raunkiaer, C. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 632 p. [2843]
55. Rudolph, Victor J.; Lemmien, Walter A. 1976. Silvicultural cuttings in an oak-hickory stand in Michigan: 21-year results. In: Fralish, James S.; Weaver, George T.; Schlesinger, Richard C., eds. Central hardwood forest conference: Proceedings of a meeting; 1976 October 17-19; Carbondale, IL. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University: 431-453. [3816]
56. Sander, Ivan L. 1990. Quercus velutina Lam. black oak. In: Burns, Russell M.; Honkala, Barbara H., tech. coords. Silvics of North America. Vol. 2. Hardwoods. Agric. Handb. 654. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: 744-750. [19219]
57. Messier, Francois; Virgl, John A. 1992. Differential use of bank burrows and lodges by muskrats, Ondatra zibethicus, in a northern marsh environment. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 70(6): 1180-1184. [18437]
58. Short, Henry L. 1976. Composition and squirrel use of acorns of black and white oak groups. Journal of Wildlife Management. 40(3): 479-483. [10590]
59. Shotola, Steven J.; Weaver, G. T.; Robertson, P. A.; Ashby, W. C. 1992. Sugar maple invasion of an old-growth oak-hickory forest in southwestern Illinois. The American Midland Naturalist. 127(1): 125-138. [17581]
60. Starkey, Dale A.; Oak, Steven W. 1989. Site factors and stand conditions associated with oak decline in Southern upland hardwood forests. In: Rink, George; Budelsky, Carl A., eds. Proceedings, 7th central hardwood conference; 1989 March 5-8; Carbondale, IL. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-132. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 95-102. [9372]
61. Stephens, H. A. 1973. Woody plants of the North Central Plains. Lawrence, KS: The University Press of Kansas. 530 p. [3804]
62. Swan, Frederick R., Jr. 1970. Post-fire response of four plant communities in south-central New York state. Ecology. 51(6): 1074-1082. [3446]
63. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service. 1982. National list of scientific plant names. Vol. 1. List of plant names. SCS-TP-159. Washington, DC. 416 p. [11573]
64. Voss, Edward G. 1985. Michigan flora. Part II. Dicots (Saururaceae--Cornaceae). Bull. 59. Bloomfield Hills, MI: Cranbrook Institute of Science; Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Herbarium. 724 p. [11472]
65. Ward, Jeffrey S.; Stephens, George R. 1989. Long-term effects of a 1932 surface fire on stand structure in a Connecticut mixed hardwood forest. In: Rink, George; Budelsky, Carl A., eds. Proceedings, 7th central hardwood conference; 1989 March 5-8; Carbondale, IL. Gen. Tech. Rep. NC-132. St. Paul, MN: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station: 267-273. [9389]
66. Wells, B. W. 1928. Plant communities of the Coastal Plain of North Carolina and their successional relations. Ecology. 9(2): 230-242. [9307]
67. Williamson, Malcolm J. 1964. Burning does not control young hardwoods on shortleaf pine sites in the Cumberland Plateau. Res. Note CS-19. Columbus, OH: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Central States Forest Experiment Station. 4 p. [10999]
68. Hull, James C.; Wood, Sarah G. 1984. Water relations of oak species on and adjacent to a Maryland serpentine soil. The American Midland Naturalist. 112(2): 224-234. [19034]
69. Bernard, Stephen R.; Brown, Kenneth F. 1977. Distribution of mammals, reptiles, and amphibians by BLM physiographic regions and A.W. Kuchler's associations for the eleven western states. Tech. Note 301. Denver, CO: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. 169 p. [434]