U.S. Joint Fire Science Program


Joint Fire Science Program Synthesis Reports

Date of this Version


Document Type



Joint Fire Science Program Synthesis Reports, July 2014

General Technical Report NRS-135


United States government work


Guidelines for using prescribed fire to regenerate and restore upland oak forests, woodlands, and savannas in eastern North America were developed by synthesizing the results of more than 100 scientific publications. The first four chapters provide background information on the values of oak ecosystems, eastern fire history, oak’s adaptations to fire, and the findings of fire-oak research conducted over the past 50 years. The final chapter synthesizes that background information into guidelines that explain how to use prescribed fire to facilitate oak seedling establishment, release oak reproduction from competing mesophytic hardwoods, and rehabilitate open oak woodlands, oak savannas, and scrub oak communities. A reference section is also provided for readers desiring to delve more deeply into the associations between periodic fire and oak forests, woodlands, and savannas.