Annual Upland Hardwood Silviculture Course at Bent Creek

Over 20 Years of Science Delivery to Foresters in Upland Hardwood Forest Management

Participants at recent upland hardwoods course at Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Photo by Julia Kirschman.
Participants at recent upland hardwoods course at Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Photo by Julia Kirschman.

Foresters and resource managers from five states attended the annual Upland Hardwood Silviculture Course at the Bent Creek Forestry Research and Training Center in Asheville, North Carolina this July. 

The Southern Research Station (SRS) Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management unit offers this course to foresters, land managers and other natural resource professionals to convey the latest information on practices and research results needed to manage upland hardwood forests.

Thirty participants from five different State Forestry Agencies, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and one university attended the workshop.  This year’s workshop was a pared down version of the week-long workshop offered for over 20 years.  By shortening the workshop length and keeping costs within state agency budgets, more participants were able to attend.

Practicing foresters and natural resource managers learned about current research and methods to practice science-based forest management in upland hardwood forests.  Five SRS research foresters and ecologists, professors from Clemson and Kentucky, and one technology transfer specialist assisted in the 3-day program.  A combination of indoor lectures, field tours to research areas in the Bent Creek Experimental Forest and state Game Land, and field exercises encompassed topics including:  the purpose of silviculture, silviculture terminology, forest site classification, environmental gradients and forest composition, silvicultural systems, regeneration ecology, forest food resources for wildlife, markets and economic constraints, artificial regeneration and American chestnut restoration, low quality stands, REGEN model, effects of fire on wildlife and forest vegetation and fuels. 

Participants were also treated to a special forestry tour of the Biltmore Estate by the Biltmore Company’s Bill Alexander.

What began as a request from state agencies for training on upland hardwood forest silviculture and management continues to educate professional foresters more than 20 years later, giving them current knowledge and methods to meet their land management and restoration goals. 

For more information, email Julia Kirschman at

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