A Practical Guide to Oak Release

Oregon white oak savannas and woodlands represent a biological and cultural legacy in the Pacific Northwest. Many Oregon white oak stands are deteriorating owing to invasion and eventual overtopping by Douglas-fir or other conifers. Releasing the shade-intolerant oak trees from overtopping conifers can often restore these oak stands. When planning a release operation, there are many factors to consider such as timing and intensity of release, which trees to select for release, and management of the understory. A carefully executed oak release can minimize damage to oak trees, and followup treatments may reduce the spread of invasive plants. This guide answers the most commonly asked questions related to oak release.