Oak and shortleaf pine regeneration through harvest and fire
AuthorGrello, Alli; Mayer, Forrest; Skinner, Drake; Mia, Trevor; Keith-Lucas, Alastair; Warm, Sally
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Forest restoration is practiced with the goal of restoring a given piece of forest to predetermined reference conditions in order to restore the presence of native species and promote forest health. University Domain management has targeted Compartment 20 on the Domain as a site suitable for oak-hickory and shortleaf pine restoration. The objectives of this study are to (1) enhance oak-hickory and shortleaf regeneration and maintain low basal area with fire, (2) use fire to develop a suite of native grass species in the understory, (3) update site inventories, and (4) monitor changes in fuel loading. Prior to treatment in 2011, total basal area was 130 ft2/ac; current aggregate basal area is 104 ft2/ac mostly from oak species. Total fuel loading is up roughly two tons per acre from the 2011 study at 17 tons/ac. American chestnut was also planted at the site, and if they survive, these trees will be part of the site’s restoration.