Life History & Disturbance Response of Quercus falcata var. pagodaefolia cherrybark oak, swamp red oak
Guild: persistent, large-seeded, advance growth
Functional Lifeform: large deciduous tree
Ecological Role: common on bottomlands and well-drained
stream margins; occurs as scattered individuals in oak-hickory mixtures
on alluvial floodplains and in pine-hardwood mixtures on moist uplands
Lifespan, yrs (typical/max): 150/275
Shade Tolerance: intolerant
Height, m: 30-40
Canopy Tree: yes
Pollination Agent: wind
Seeding, yrs (begins/optimal/declines): 25/50/75
Mast Frequency, yrs: 2-4
New Cohorts Source: seeds
Flowering Dates: early spring
Flowers/Cones Damaged by Frost: no
Seedfall Begins: early fall
Seed Banking: up to 1 yr
Cold Stratification Required: yes
Seed Type/Dispersal Distance/Agent: nut (acorn)/
to 50 m/ gravity, birds, other animals, water
Season of Germination: spring
Seedling Rooting System: taproot
Sprouting: seedling and stump sprouts common
Establishment Seedbed Preferences
Light: overstory shade or canopy gap
Moisture: moist required
Fire: Cherrybark oak grows on bottomland sites,
where fire rarely occurs. A thin-barked species, it is susceptible to damage
and topkilling from fire. Damaged trees are susceptible to infestation
by insects. Cherrybark oaks sprout from adventitious buds in the root crown
or from root suckers, more often in younger trees (seedlings and saplings)
than older trees. Seedling establishment may occur from seeds of surviving
trees onsite or from offsite seeds carried by water, birds and other animals.
It regenerates on areas protected from fire and grazing.
Weather: Cherrybark oak is susceptible to windthrow.
Exotics: Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is a defoliator of
eastern hardwood forests, introduced to Massachusetts from France in 1885.
It has spread throughout New England into Virginia and Michigan. Defoliation
causes growth loss, decline, and mortality. It feeds on many tree species,
but Quercus and Populus are the most susceptible taxa, and
trees growing on xeric sites are the most vulnerable. Various efforts have
been made to control it, with mixed results. A fungus, Entomophaga maimaiga
introduced from Japan causes considerable mortality to gypsy moth populations.
E. maimaiga levels are promoted by damp weather.