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
Evaluate Our Service
Your comments and suggestions are very important to our service improvement.

Pacific Northwest Research Station logo which links to the Station's Web site.

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Genetic and Silvicultural Foundations for Management

Oak Studies

Most Oregon white oak (or Garry oak) communities in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California are initiated by and perpetuated by disturbance. Historically, the main disturbance agent was fire, especially fires set by Native Americans to keep areas open for hunting or to favor growth or harvesting of specific plants.

Without disturbance, most oak woodlands, oak savannas, and associated prairies are invaded and eventually replaced by conifers – especially Douglas-fir. Oak plant communities support unique groupings of plants, insects, and animals. When conifer forests invade, the unique flora of the oak woodlands and open prairies is eventually replaced by relatively common forest species. Up to 95% of the Oregon white oak sites present in the early 1800s have been lost to agriculture, urban development, or conversion to other plant community types. When we lose our oak plant communities, we lose a component of our regional biodiversity and cultural heritage.

To support restoration and mangement of oak systems, we are:

  • Examining basic biology questions such as:

  • Developing information relevant to oak management issues such as:

    • How to regenerate oak (more info and how you can help)

    • How to manage oak in oak-conifer stands, especially the response of oaks to release from overtopping conifers (more)

  • Summarizing information on oaks (on-line bibliography)


Results from several of our oak research projects are summarized in a 2007 publication.

List of all Team publications related to Oregon white oak.

USDA Forest Service - GenSilv Team
Last Modified: Saturday, 15 October 2016 at 18:38:00 CDT

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.