Forestry can benefit cerulean warblers

The Appalachian Mountains Joint Venture released the Cerulean Warbler Management Guidelines for Appalachian Hardwood Forests last year. Cerulean warblers are commonly associated with large, contiguous forests with old-growth characteristics, and are species of special concern in NJ. They are difficult to see, nesting near the tops of large-diameter white oak, chestnut oak, sugar maple, cherry, locust, elm, and sycamore trees. The species has declined by about 70% since l966. The management guidelines stem from a large-scale study spanning four states.

The management guidelines recommend thinning overstocked stands—particularly in landscapes dominated by forest—to a residual basal area of between 40 and 90 square feet/acre. Thinning should retain preferred nesting tree species while reducing red maple. Individual tree selection systems did not significantly increase population levels, indicating the need for a heavier thinning, principally to increase light levels to the understory and encourage regeneration and other understory vegetation, and also to encourage crown growth in residual trees.

For more information, ask one of us during Farm Tax season.  The guidelines for cerulean warblers can be read by clicking here.

(This article was originally written for the Spring 2014 issue of The Cruiser.)

Penn State Releases "Quick Sheet" Recommendations on Tough Invasive Treatment

The Weed Ecology Lab of Penn State has its Wildland Weed Program. Art Grover, from that program, recently spoke at the Winter Allegheny SAF meeting in Williamsport, PA. His program recently launched a website to promote their recommendations on controlling certain invasives – especially those tough to control.

Overall, the two-page "Invasive Species Quick Sheets" are well-written and focus on the life history of the individual plant to find the species' Achilles heel. Management recommendations use Integrated Pest Management Principles, and if chemical treatment is recommended, said recommendations are very specific and useful. This is a website worth visiting and reading.  The PDF files listed in the site focus on control recommendations.  Other fact sheets focused on identification and natural history can be found by clicking on links within those PDF files.

For more information, click here.

(This article was originally written for the Spring 2014 issue of The Cruiser.)

Research looks promising for biocontrol of Ailanthus

At the Allegheny SAF winter meeting in 2009, foresters learned of a naturally-occurring fungus that was killing Ailanthus in southern Pennsylvania. Recently, results from a Penn State study were published discussing the application of that fungus as a means of biocontrol. The disease is called Verticillium wilt of Ailanthus (V. nonalfalfae), and since that time it has now spread to three states. In two regions in Pennsylvania and Virginia, this disease is considered epidemic.

By injecting a cluster of five Ailanthus trees along a transect every 1,000 feet in a stand, researchers killed all Ailanthus trees within three years (slightly longer for very large stands). While resprouting did occur, all sprouts were similarly infected and died within several years. Much of this research was conducted on Pennsylvania public lands, including a public forestry demonstration site in Canoe Creek State Park, Tuscarora State Forest, State Game Lands, and also on lands administered by the Army Corps of Engineers.

A copy of the study can be found by clicking here.

Weldon Brook WMA Stewardship Plan Released

Recently, Gracie & Harrigan was retained by DEP Division of Fish & WIldlife to accomplish a forest inventory and produce a Forest Stewardship Plan for the Weldon Brook Wildlife Management Area.  This 1,500+ acre property is located in Sparta Township, Sussex County.  We are proud to have been involved with a project that seeks to restore significant amounts of Golden-winged warbler habitat while also meeting other goals of the DEP's Wildlife Action Plan and other environmental laws, regulations, and policy.

Read more: Weldon Brook WMA Stewardship Plan Released

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Benefits

Practicing sustainable forestry  works to:

  • Protect water quality
  • Increase water yield
  • Promote forest health
  • Restore damaged forest ecosystems
  • Promote wildlife through the creation of habitat
  • Yield renewable forest products