Virtual Upland Hardwood Workshop

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Upland hardwood shelterwood (mature trees left standing to provide shelter in which saplings can grow)

Upland hardwood shelterwood (mature trees left standing to provide shelter in which saplings can grow). (Forest Service photo)

The US Forest Service, Southern Research Station, led by the Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management Research Work Unit, hosted a four-day online training from July 21-24, 2020. This training module started in 1992 at the Bent Creek Experimental Forest and continued until 2015. Requests by several state foresters was the impetus needed to re-instate the workshop. Organizers Dr. Tara Keyser, Dr. Callie Schweitzer and Dr. Stacy Clark planned to hold the training at Bent Creek, with daily classroom lectures followed by field tours and hands-on exercises. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic forced a change in format, and the course was converted to an online platform. Speakers from the Southern and Northern Research Stations, Forest Health Protection, and two universities rose to the challenge to conduct the training using a virtual platform.

Over 100 participants, representing state agencies in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia, other federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, and consultant foresters interacted with the twelve invited speakers with technical assistance provided by Edward Mundy and Jeremy Jones (both SRS). Julia Kirschman, science delivery specialist, handled logistics and registration, as well as continuing education credits and certificates.

The workshop was designed to provide foresters and other natural resource practitioners with the most state-of-the-art, science-based information necessary to sustainably manage upland hardwood ecosystems of the Central Hardwoods Region of the US for a wide variety of goods and services. Topics included: regeneration dynamics, forest health and resiliency, the role of fire as a disturbance agent and management tool, American chestnut restoration, reviews of timber production and markets, wildlife habitat considerations, and management of woodlands, mixed pine-hardwood stands, and degraded stands.

Forestry Technician Ryan Sisk in Daniel Boone National Forest

Forestry Technician Ryan Sisk in Daniel Boone National Forest

There were several themes that flowed throughout the workshop. The disturbance regime in upland hardwood forests has been greatly altered, and our management activities for contemporary forests will need to be more intense and frequent, to move stands towards desired conditions. Managers must be prepared to use harvesting, prescribed fire, and herbicides, alone or in combination, in an adaptive approach. Recognition of the high variability in site factors, past disturbances and other confining issues was a prevalent topic, and speakers encouraged managers to be cognizant of that variability and how it will influence responses to treatments.

The workshop will be offered again in 2022 and will be adapted to meet emerging and pertinent topics identified by participants. One advantage of the virtual platform was the ability to reach more participants than in a traditional classroom setting; however, face to face interaction and informal conversation, particularly on field tours was greatly missed. In future years, we will examine how we can combine virtual and in-person training to serve the greatest number of participants.

Presentation Recordings

You can view the meeting recording from each day of the workshop. The daily recording links will open in Adobe Connect. From there, you can skip to specific presentations via the bookmarks on the left.

Day 1: View recording on YouTube

  Overview of the Central Hardwood Region
Download Presentation Summary (Word; 23 KB)
Dr. Stacy Clark, SRS
  Regeneration ecology of upland hardwood forests in the Central Hardwood Region
Download Presentation Summary (Word; 27 KB)
Dr. Tara Keyser, SRS
  Artificial regeneration of upland oaks (Quercus) and American Chestnut (Castanea dentata)
Download Presentation Summary (Word; 4.78 MB)
Dr. Stacy Clark, SRS

Day 2: View recording on YouTube

  Prescribed fire effects on forest structure and composition Dr. Dan Dey, NRS
  Silviculture for oak woodlands
Download Presentation Summary (Word; 21 KB)
Dr. Callie Schweitzer, SRS
  Managing for resilience to pests and pathogens in upland oak forests
Download Presentation Summary (Word; 19 KB)
Dr. Ryan A. Blaedow, Forest Health Protection

Day 3: View recording on YouTube

  Fire and hardwood timber/wood quality
Download Presentation Summary (Word; 195 KB)
Dr. Jan Wiedenbeck, NRS
  Intermediate silvicultural treatments for oak-dominated forests with options for managing degraded lands
Download Presentation Summary (Word; 26 KB)
Dr. John M. Lhotka, University of Kentucky
  Forest health - managing invasive plant species in upland oak forests
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Paul Merten, Forest Health Protection
  Changes in the timber resources of the central hardwood region
Download Presentation Summary (Word; 23 KB)
Dr. Bill Luppold, NRS
  Mixed stand management
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Dr. John Willis, SRS

Day 4: View recording on YouTube

  Forest management: considerations for wildlife
Download Presentation Summary (Word; 22 KB)
View Dr. Craig Harper’s profile page at UT
Dr. Craig A. Harper, University of Tennessee
  Forest management and wildlife: historical context and research in the southern Appalachians
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Dr. Cathryn H. Greenberg, SRS
  Acorns/forest foods Dr. Cathryn H. Greenberg, SRS