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[Images] Five photos of different landscape

Compass July 2006
Download Issue 6 PDF

Compass is a quarterly publication of the USDA Forest Service's Southern Research Station (SRS). As part of the Nation's largest forestry research organization -- USDA Forest Service Research and Development -- SRS serves 13 Southern States and beyond. The Station's 130 scienists work in more than 20 units located across the region at Federal laboratories, universites, and experimental forests.

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Issue 6

What Can Experimental Forests Teach Us About Afforestation?

A Tale Told by Two Forests

Scientists predict that the South’s forest acreage will remain stable over the next several decades, with losses from urbanization in the Atlantic States offset by tree planting on abandoned agricultural lands further west. Restoration of bottomland hardwoods on Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley lands will play a large role in guaranteeing the success of these predictions. Bottomland hardwood restoration is not just planting trees, but rather a process that involves selection of species, thinning, and protecting against diseases and insect infestations.

Two experimental sites, the Delta Experimental Forest and the Sharkey Research and Demonstration Site, have provided scientists with ideal conditions for studying bottomland hardwoods and developing tools and guidelines for restoration by landowners.(...continued...)

Photo of Cottonwoods
Landowners can visit the experimental plots set up at the Sharkey Research and Demonstration Site to look at how different plantings perform over time.
(Photo by Melissa Carlson)