Development of an upland hardwood demonstration forest on the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration ForestThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Landowners have experienced a dizzying array of timber prices over the past several years. At one time, hardwood pulpwood brought very little per ton and today it brings as much or more than pine pulpwood. In some markets in the Southeast today, oak sawtimber is bringing more than pine poles. Many landowners, who previously said they wanted their hardwood stands left alone because of the perceived wildlife value, are expressing an interest in upland hardwood management and regenerating their stands. Very few demonstrations are available to show landowners how they might work towards this goal. An effort is underway to establish an upland hardwood management demonstration on the Mary Olive Thomas Demonstration Forest (MOT) near Auburn, AL. The MOT has been managed by Auburn University’s School of Forestry & Wildlife Sciences since it was given as a gift to the School in 1984. As part of the effort, a 9.9-acre upland hardwood forest dominated by oak and yellow-poplar will be used. All trees greater than 4.5 inches DBH have been stem-mapped; trees less than that have been sub-sampled and data have been collected on the litter layer/fuel load. Overstory trees have been cored to determine ring count. A preliminary examination of the data indicates there are few species in the midstory or understory that are of commercial value. This presentation will report on the initial stand conditions and discuss the plans for hardwood management.