Are Oak trees allelopathic?
This topic is sure to create a lot of interest I'm sure. I didn't know what Allelopathic was until sometime in the last year. But now I think I have a good basis for allelopathic behavior from oak trees on my property. The story:
I bought this place just five years ago, 2 acres on a beautiful river with about two dozen spectacularly large(90') red and white pines. A few white Birch, and lots of Ironwood, Chokecherry, Poplar and a few Blueberry and Snowberry . Plus fifty or more large mature red and white oak. There is a nice house, two heated garages, and land that is mostly native, unmowed Pennsylvania Sedge. Along with many other native wildflowers like: Yellow Bellwart, Sarsasparilla, Columbine, Geranium, Trillium, Anemones, Mianthemums, Thalictrum, Rudbeckia, Helenium, Asters, and more I can't think of right now.
But the oak trees had over a period of fifty years or so cornered all the shade, and me, not fond of them in the first place, immediately started the removal process. Also eradicated some poplars, one giant Basswood and a lot of the Ironwood. But when I moved in there were no young pines or birch.
The canopy was opened up and I immediately started seeing new plants like: Viburnum dentatum, Diervilla lonicerra, and lots of Elderberry.
Over this time I also planted more than 400 native shrubs and trees to flourish in the sun now available.
But now, about four years after the major removal process began, I am seeing hundreds or thousands of small pine seedlings, which only started this summer. No birch as of yet, and a few black cherry. So, my thinking is that the oaks had prevented any pine germination all that time, and not just because of the lack of sunlight. Note that the shade had been removed starting 4 years ago and it is only now this year that the pine seedlings surfaced. And they are becoming a real nuisance too.
So, just my musings on whether oaks are really more evil than we thought.