USDA Forest Service

Land and Watershed Management

Land and Watershed Management Program
Pacific Northwest Research Station
Olympia Forestry Sciences Laboratory
  3625 93rd Ave. SW
Olympia, WA 98512
(360) 753-7747
Corvallis Forestry Sciences Laboratory
  3200 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
(541) 750-7250
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United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Genetic and Silvicultural Foundations for Management

Oak Studies

Planting Oaks

Man planting oak seedlings.We have been conducting research to determine the best techniques for establishing Oregon white oaks. We have trials at Fort Lewis and elsewhere in western WA where we are testing fertilization at time of planting, weed suppression alternatives, irrigation, and tree shelters. In our trials, seedlings grown in solid tree shelters had greater growth than seedlings in mesh shelters or no shelter (see photos and graph below).

Solid tree shelter Mesh tree shelter

A solid tree shelter (left) and a mesh tree shelter (right) both prevent browse damage, but the solid shelter also acts as a mini-greenhouse.

The plastic mats block weeds but are perforated to allow rain water to pass through.

A net over the top of the solid shelter keeps birds from getting inside.



Graph showing oak height growth in relation to tree shelters used for protection.

During their first two years after planting, oak seedings in solid tree shelters grew more than those in mesh shelters.


We are also:
  • Studying the relationship between soil temperature and root growth to determine the best months for outplanting oak seedlings.

  • Studying the effects of nursery practices on oak seedling root morphology, growth, and physiology (photo on right).


Graph showing oak height growth in relation to tree shelters used for protection.


How you can help:

We have started a volunteer-based Oak Planting Survey. If you are planting oak seedlings, record seedling measurements and planting information on our form and add your data to our observations (we will remind you to remeasure the seedlings in the future). When we have enough information, we will summarize the results and make them available to everyone. You can request free tags to label your seedlings and can arrange to borrow equipement to measure seedling height or diameter by email: (or see team directory for mailing address and phone numbers).

Download instructions and the form to record seedling measurements. [ PDF: 83KB ]

For more information:

Article in Restoration Ecology on planting Oregon white oak. [ PDF: 329KB ]

People who have participated in or supported our research on oak regeneration:

Lathrop Leonard

Gary McCausland

Hugh Snook

Tanya Braumiller

Dick Hopkins

Cindy Miner

Eric Hendricks

Bill Wood

Rich Wolfe

Harold Hertlein

Dan Grosboll

Eric Delvin

Pat Dunn

Carri Marschner

Birdie Davenport

David Wilderman

César Carrion

Bill Carlson

John Trobaugh

Tim Crockett

Nabil Khadduri

Ron "Dutch" Klaassen

Darlene Southworth

Eric Beach

Jon Bakker

Richard Roberts

Robin Dobson

Nathan Lubliner

Thomas Wurm



USDA Forest Service - GenSilv Team
Last Modified: Monday, 16 December 2013 at 14:18:50 CST

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