Monitoring and Assessment of Tree Establishment in the Wetland Reserve Program in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial PlainThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Reforestation of marginally productive agricultural fields has been aided by cost-share programs, including the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP), administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service. Mississippi was chosen as a pilot State charged with implementing WRP in 1992. Reforestation efforts were emphasized under WRP. The introduction of hard mast species was a main goal. In particular, the hard mast species highlighted were oaks. Oak species introduced on these tracts included Nuttall oak (Quercus nuttallii Palmer), willow oak (Q. phellos L.), water oak (Q. nigra L.), cherrybark oak (Q. pagoda Raf.), and overcup oak (Q. lyrata Walt.). Sawtooth oak (Q. accuminata Carruth.) was planted along with Nuttall oak on one tract, although sawtooth oak was not on the WRP approved species list. However, no sawtooth oak seedlings survived. Seedlings [oaks, green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh.), water hickory (Carya aquatica Michx.), and baldcypress (Taxodium distichum L.)] were planted on a 12- by 12-foot spacing at a rate of 302 trees per acre. Direct seeding (sowing) was at a rate of 1,210 acorns per acre on a 12- by 3-foot spacing at a depth of 2 to 4 inches. Both machine and hand planting were used. No postreforestation weed control was used.