A Guide for Matching Oak Species with Sites During Bottomland Restoration
Mercker, D. C.  2013.  Abstract. Proceedings of the 18 Central Hardwoods Conference., USDA Forest Service General Technical Report. NRS-P-117.

Abstract.—Over the past several decades, federal incentive programs have encouraged the restoration of bottomland forests throughout the West Gulf Coastal Plain and the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley. Programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program and the Wetlands Reserve Program have been marginally successful (Stanturf et al. 2001). Foresters and contractors often follow conventional tree planting procedures that are well established for upland sites, but prove problematic in bottomlands. High water tables, soil drainage and compaction, overland flooding, and diverse soil properties make species selection difficult. Slight changes in topography and soil structure often have a dramatic effect on survival and growth of planted oak seedlings (Hodges and Switzer 1979). Th is project documented the survival and growth of 6-year-old seedlings that were established in 2004 on a bottomland site at the West Tennessee Research and Education Center, Jackson, Tennessee. The purpose was to determine how soil drainage as indicated by mottling (specifically, the point of >50 percent gray color throughout the soil profile) affects the survival and growth of bottomland oak species. Th e findings suggest that practitioners plant Nuttall, pin, and overcup oaks in poorly drained soils. As the drainage improves, begin mixing in willow oak. In the best drained soils (if they exist), finish by including water, swamp chestnut, swamp white, Shumard, cherrybark, and bur oaks. Potential species diversity should expand as the soil drainage improves.