Burning for Redcedar control in Oklahoma

TitleBurning for Redcedar control in Oklahoma
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsLourencon, RV, Hart, SP, Gipson, TA
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume97
IssueSupplement 3
AbstractIn a research study using goats to control redcedar (Juniperus virgiana), burning was used as a comparison. The objective of the study was to measure the degree of control of redcedar provided by burning in Oklahoma. There were three research locations in Oklahoma, Langston, Mannford, and Midwest City. All plots were 0.81 hectares. The redcedar population was inventoried, quantified as to height, width, and GPS coordinates during the summer of 2016. An adjacent area was cleared by clipping cedars and the dry cedars (fuel) were stacked on the border of sites to be burned. A fire plan was made and burns were conducted in October 26 at Langston, November 11 at Midwest City, and December 6 of 2016 at Mannford. Percentage green canopy of the cedars was scored 3 months after burning. Percentage green canopy of the trees according to size (short; ≤ 1.83m or tall; > 1.83m) and presence of fuel were analyzed using Chi-Square statistics. The results indicated that burning was more effective in Langston with 33% of green canopy (P<.001), while Mannford and Midwest City averaged 64% of green canopy. In all locations the presence of fuel around the trees potentiated the fire and reduced green canopy to 28% as compared with the trees not surrounded by fuel with 79% of green canopy (P<0.001). In Midwest City, taller trees were better controlled by fire and averaged 60% of green canopy, while the shorter trees averaged 69% (P = 0.021) with no significant differences due to height of tree in Langston and Mannford or when data of all three locations were analyzed together. The presence of fuel around the trees can potentiate the fire and give a better control of recedar. However, burning was not a very effective method to control redcedar.