Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Forest Resource Management

Committee Chair

Jamie Schuler

Committee Co-Chair

Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy

Committee Member

Melissa Thomas-Van Gundy

Committee Member

David McGill


The deferment harvest method is a new forest management treatment in central Appalachian hardwood forests. It is intended to primarily improve aesthetics by leaving select residual trees in the forest stand beyond the establishment of the regeneration cohort. However, there are concerns with residual tree quality due to the development of epicormic branches and if the presence of forest canopy influences the species composition and development of the regeneration. Topographic aspect can influence differences in productivity in both the residual and regeneration cohorts. This study examined if residual tree quality for timber value and a desirable species composition of the regeneration cohort differed by aspect (i.e., south and east). Epicormic branches were present on majority of the residual trees but did not reduce the quality nor the presumed lumber value of these trees. Forest canopy had no effect on the species composition and development of the regeneration cohort, while there were differences between the south and east aspects in species diversity and stem density of the mid-tolerant species. The regeneration cohort was dominated primarily by commercial species with both shade-intolerant and shade-tolerant species present. These results suggested that maintaining timber value of residual trees and regenerating commercial tree species is possible with the deferment harvest method.