• Nutritional quality of browse after brush management on cross timbers rangeland

      Soper, R. B.; Lochmiller, R. L.; Leslie, D. M.; Engle, D. M. (Society for Range Management, 1993-09-01)
      We evaluated seasonal changes in browse quality 5-6 years after experimental manipulations to control unwanted woody vegetation using combinations of herbicide and fire on cross timbers rangeland in central Oklahoma. The study area consisted of two 32-ha replications of untreated controls and 4 brush treatments (tebuthiuron and triclopyr used singly or in combination with periodic prescribed burning); herbicides were applied in 1983 and fires initiated in 1985. Nutritional quality of blackberry (Rubus spp.), coralberry, (Symphoricarpos orbiculatus Moench), rough-leaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii Meyer), elm (Ulmus spp.), greenbrier (Smilax spp.), hackberry (Celtis spp.), and smooth sumac (Rhus glabra L.) were assessed by measuring crude protein, in vitro dry matter digestibility, neutral detergent fiber, acid detergent fiber, and moisture content. Crude protein concentrations of browse were 14% higher on herbicide-treated areas compared to untreated controls and 11% higher on triclopyr treatments compared to tebuthiuron treatments. In vitro dry matter digestibility was 9% higher on herbicide-treated areas compared to untreated controls. Fiber constituents and moisture content were not influenced by brush treatments. Prescribed burning combined with herbicide applications did not improve the quality of browse. Our results indicate that browse quality can be improved for white-tailed deer by applications of tebuthiuron or triclopyr and improvements persist for up to 6 years post treatment.