Blue oak stump sprouting evaluated after firewood harvest in northern Sacramento Valley
Sheila J. Barry, UC Cooperative Extension, Santa Clara County
Larry C. Forero, UC Cooperative Extension, Shasta and Trinity counties
Douglas D. McCreary, UC Berkeley
Richard B. Standiford, UC Berkeley
California Agriculture 65(3):148-154. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v065n03p148.
Colifornia's hardwood rangelands, an oak-dominated woodland system, cover 10 million acres. More than 80% of these lands are privately owned, with two-thirds grazed by domestic livestock. Public concerns about long-term damage to habitat in areas harvested for firewood — particularly in the northern Sacramento Valley — led to this study of resprouting, to assess long-term trends in oak cover following harvesting and the potential of sprout (coppice) management to sustain woodlands. In field surveys on 103 sample plots at 19 ranches where oak firewood was harvested, we found that 54% of all oak stumps resprouted. Stump diameter, herbicide application, overstory crown cover percentage, and slope and aspect were significant variables in models developed to assess the probability of stump sprouting. Ten-year sprout height and crown growth models were developed, and livestock grazing, residual overstory canopy, herbicide treatment and stump diameter were found to be significant variables. These models can be used to predict stand development following firewood harvest and can be integrated with forage growth, wildlife habitat and residual tree growth models.
S. Barry is Livestock and Natural Resource Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Santa Clara County; L. Forero is Livestock Advisor, UCCE Shasta and Trinity counties. D. McCreary is Cooperative Extension Natural Resource Specialist Emeritus, UC Berkeley; R.B. Standiford is Cooperative Extension Forest Management Specialist, UC Berkeley;
We thank the ranching families of Shasta and Tehama counties who allowed this study to take place on their lands. We also thank the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for funding. We appreciate the tremendous support of the late Ron Knight, Livestock Advisor Emeritus in Tehama County, who helped to contact cooperators and assisted with field data collection.