Green Line Meeting in Arkansas Promotes Collaboration

On September 10, a Green Line meeting brought USDA Forest Service researchers and managers together, along with state partners. Participants represented the Southern Research Station, the Ouachita National Forest, the Ozark National Forest, and the Arkansas Forestry Commission. Twenty-eight people attended the meeting, including leadership from SRS, the Southern Region and Arkansas state forester Joe…  More 

Acorns and Their Predators

Acorns aren’t only for squirrels. They serve as a food source for a variety of wildlife, such as mice, deer, and turkeys. This presents somewhat of a problem for oak trees – acorn producers – because their future depends on acorns surviving and germinating to become the next generation. A recent study by USDA Forest…  More 

Using Prescribed Fire to Restore and Sustain Oak Ecosystems

Used incorrectly, fire can degrade wood quality and its value as timber. When should managers use prescribed fire in hardwood stands? “I field a lot of questions from state and local partners about the long-term effects of using prescribed fire in hardwood stands,” says USDA Forest Service scientist Callie Schweitzer. Schweitzer has spent her career…  More 

Post-Fire Mortality for Southern Hardwoods

Drive down Highway 7 in northern Arkansas, winding through the Ozark National Forest, and you may glimpse evidence of recent fire: scorched grass, darkened tree bark, maybe even a lingering wisp of smoke. Traces of prescribed burning can be seen throughout the South. Prescribed fire is a critical tool for forest restoration. A new study…  More 

The Cold Hill Silvicultural Assessment

Upland hardwood forests mature slowly – it can take as long as a century. It can also take years to answer research questions about these forests, which are often dominated by oaks and hickories. In 2003, the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), Northern Research Station, and Southern Region (Region 8) of the National…  More 

Unexpected Pest of Chestnut Trees

SRS research entomologist Bud Mayfield was relieved to find that defoliation on an American chestnut planting site was not as severe as expected. Mayfield and SRS research forester Stacy Clark are coauthors on a paper in the Journal of Insect Science that describes a study they conducted with Ashley Case, an adjunct lecturer at the University…  More 

Bent Creek Experimental Forest: First in the East

  After World War I, when the Forest Service sought to establish an experimental station on a site that represented the diversity of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, the Bent Creek area of western North Carolina seemed the logical choice. Named for a bend in the creek near the French Broad River, Bent Creek typified the upland hardwood…  More 

Life after Hemlock: Restoring Riparian Forests in the Southern Appalachians

In the last decade, the hemlock woolly adelgid, a tiny sap-sucking insect native to Japan, has swept through southern Appalachian forests, leaving dead hemlocks in its wake. Hemlock branches no longer shade streams or tower over shrubs, and their loss has affected streamside, or riparian, forests. “Without hemlock, more sunlight reaches the forest floor,” says U.S.…  More 

The Bottomland Forests of the East Coast’s Albemarle Sound

The Albemarle Sound watershed stretches 6 million acres along the North Carolina and Virginia borders. “The Sound contains some of the largest areas of bottomland hardwood habitat in the eastern United States,” says U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) research ecologist Anita Rose. “In a variety of ways, both nature and people depend on…  More 

Acorns: The Forest’s Bread and Butter

  Acorns are often referred to as “a keystone species of the forest” because of the critical role they play in ecosystem dynamics. Rodents feed heavily on acorns and, in turn, predators such as foxes and hawks prey on rodent populations plump from acorn feasting. Deer and black bears depend on acorns too. In fact,…  More