Stand and site characteristics affect the probability of stump sprouting in some eastern North American hardwoods

Jennifer M. Nieves, Jeffrey S. Ward, Alejandro A. Royo, Marc E. McDill, Jesse K. Kreye, Kim C. Steiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Stump sprouting is a widespread phenomenon in North American hardwood tree species following logging or severe crown damage from natural disturbances such as fire, wind, or insect attack. However, other than the effects of species and tree size, factors that influence the probability of sprouting are not well understood. Data from harvested stands in Pennsylvania and Connecticut, USA, were used to evaluate the effects of several variables on stump sprouting frequencies measured within the first year after cutting for several oak and other hardwood species. After adjusting for species and diameter of the “parent” tree (ortet), clearcut harvests were found to result in a higher frequency of sprouted stumps than shelterwood harvests or crop tree releases. In addition, the probability of sprouting was higher for trees in the Ridge and Valley province of Pennsylvania vs. the Appalachian Plateaus, and in general it was higher on dry vs. moist sites. After accounting for all measured variables, there remained statistically significant stand-to-stand differences in sprouting frequency that arose from unknown causes. Results should temper expectations of stump sprout contributions to regeneration stocking that are based on simple models derived from a small number of stands or a limited geographic area. On the stand-level basis at which most managers work, the actual contribution of sprouts to future stand development may vary widely from modeled expectations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number120136
JournalForest Ecology and Management
StatePublished - May 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Forestry
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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