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Growth Rates for Oak and Walnut in Illinois

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From: Joel Mcdonald
Mahomet, IL
What is the average growth rate (girth and height) for bottomland oaks and walnuts in central Illinois? I am trying to predict the size of swamp white and bur oak trees in 30 year increments: 21-26 years of age, 51-56 years ,etc. Also, has there been an evaluation of survival/mortality rates and growth among CRP plantings in the area?

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Hi Joel:

Growth rate, or radial- or basal increment, is a function of an assortment of interacting variables: species and existing stand conditions (genetics, stand density and competition, stocking levels, canopy position, live-crown ratio, etc.); topography and soils (hillslope position, site index, soil moisture and drainage, pH, fertility, compaction, etc.); weather (strong winds, ice damage to crowns, excessive heat, precipitation patterns, drought, flooding, etc.); insects and disease; past high-grade logging removing the most vigorous species in the stand; grass and broadleaf control; etc.

Diameter Growth and Survival of Illinois Species:

Every CRP tree planting in Illinois must meet minimum survival requirements -- generally, this minimum threshold is 300 trees per acre. IDNR district foresters and NRCS/SWCD field staff monitor CRP tree plantings for compliance.

If you're interested, we will be holding our 2nd East-Central Illinois CRP Reforestation Tour on October 26, 2016. Please contact Mr. Jonathan Manuel with the Champaign County SWCD office ( for sign-up information.

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