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Goal: Deliver Benefits to the Public Melding science and management to achieve oak forest restoration

Researchers discussing silvicultural prescriptions on Daniel Boone National Forest
Research forester Callie Schweitzer (yellow hat) and silviculturist Jared Calvert (blue hat) discuss silviculture prescriptions with university investigators and the general public on the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky. (Forest Service photo by Callie Schweitzer)

Introduction

A broad-scale forest management issue needs a culture in which building long-term interactions and interdisciplinary teams is the norm. Sustaining upland oak forests under today’s disturbance regime is challenging. SRS researchers and partners continue to tweak a broad-scale, long-term applied silviculture study to find the best treatments to meet restoration goals.

Summary

A broad-scale study of applied silviculture to improve forest health and resiliency on the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky continues to bring together researchers and managers to address restoration goals. Research forester Callie Schweitzer leads an interdisciplinary team that includes partners from the Northern Research Station, the University of Tennessee, and the University of Kentucky.

Amid changes in disturbance regimes and forest dynamics, the group is examining treatments to create conditions conducive to sustaining oak trees. Oak is highly valued for its economic and ecological attributes. In essence, small oak trees are being outcompeted by other tree species, and oaks are likely to lose their prominence in hardwood forests of the eastern U.S.

Managers and researchers recently amended the project plan, assessed the environmental impacts, and engaged with the public through field tours and social media. Researchers will examine the response of the forests as the silviculture prescriptions are applied; provide continuity for long-term monitoring; and add analyses related to restoration of the American chestnut, the impact of forest pathogens, and the consequences of prescribed fire. The project has created a culture in which building long-term interactions and interdisciplinary teams is the preferred model to approach forest management.

Principal Investigators
Callie Schweitzer, Research Forester
Stacy Clark, Research Forester
RWU
4157 - Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management
Strategic Program Area
Resource Management and Use
Publications
Using silviculture to sustain upland oak forests under stress on the Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky
Recruiting oak using midstory herbicide shelterwood prescriptions in Cumberland Plateu forests in Alabama, Tennessee, and Kentucky
Incidence of Craesus castaneae (Hymenoptera: Tenthredinidae) on Chestnut Seedlings Planted in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky
Harvesting productivity and disturbance estimates of three silvicultural prescriptions on the Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky
Understory light regimes following silvicultural treatments in central hardwood forests in Kentucky, USA
Early results of a chestnut planting in eastern Kentucky illustrate reintroduction challenges
Proactive restoration: planning, implementation, and early results of silvicultural strategies for increasing resilience against gypsy moth infestation in upland oak forests on the Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky
Growth, survival, and competitive ability of chestnut (Castanea Mill.) seedlings planted across a gradient of light levels
Stand dynamics of an oak woodland forest and effects of a restoration treatment on forest health
Research Partners
Tyler Dreaden (SRS)
Jared Calvert (Daniel Boone National Forest)
Jason Nedlo (Daniel Boone National Forest)
Leif Meadows (Daniel Boone National Forest)
Jacob Royce (Daniel Boone National Forest)
Beth Christensen (Daniel Boone National Forest)
External Partners
Scott Schlarbaum (University of Tennessee)
Jeff Stringer (University of Kentucky)
John Lhoka(University of Kentucky)
Ellen Crocker (University of Kentucky)
Chris Will (Central Kentucky Forest Management Inc.)