Sunday, October 11, 2015

Oak Restoration Woodlands Conference at PSC

Mike Barger and Students at Indian Cave State Park

Thank you Mike Barger for telling me about the Nebraska Woodlands Oak Restoration Conference on Wednesday, October 7, hosted by PSC.

I went over to the conference in the Live Oak Room around eleven, after my Comics as Literature class concluded.  The organizers anticipated around forty wildlife folks, but over ninety attended, filling the room.
Mike Barger and PSC Graduate Chance Brueggemann Who Works Full Time at Indian Cave

I heard three presentations and learned a lot about various restoration methods and time frames.  And the field trip to Indian Cave offered excellent illustrations of these current methods utilized to restore the native oaks, including thinning, burning, and hacking and squirting.

Yes, the final of the three methods got my interest!  If you drive through Indian Cave State Park, you will see areas of the woods that contain visible numbers of dead trees, most all the result of this process:  hacking behind the bark of a tree and then squirting in herbicide.  

Burning also takes care of low branches of even the generally fire
resistant oaks and invasive ground cover such as Dogwood, providing native plants and oak saplings necessary space and light to thrive.  

The Blue-stem Grass and other native plants now dominate, for example, at one place we visited just off the trail on the top of a hill.  Just beautiful to see.

All told, I learned a lot on a beautiful autumn day at the conference and in the field.  I will return soon enough to walk the trails a bit more especially after the flesh-eating Lady Bugs calm down.  

I am glad to have worn a long-sleeved shirt despite the day's heat.

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