Oak woods management: a short list of descriptions of how and why we manage oak woods with fire and thinning.

Assembled by Bill Kleiman

If you have suggestions for this list please simply add them in comments or email me.

Let the Sun Shine In is a program that is helping inspire the recovery of oak ecosystems  https://www.letthesunshinein.life/oak-forest-system/

Oak Savannas.org has numerous links to good information.  https://oaksavannas.org/index.html

Lake County Forest Preserves on why we thin an oak woods canopy.  Short video link there too. https://www.lcfpd.org/woodlands/

Article on Somme Woods w Packard, et al.  Nice images: https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/973552802

Companion to article on Somme Woods above is the science publication in PLOS ONE. This well written article is by the steward of Somme Woods, Stephen Packard, and long-time researchers Karen Glennemeier and Greg Spyreas.    https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0241061

And a short summary of the Somme Woods project is nicely done by Yale Environment 360:https://e360.yale.edu/digest/researchers-build-a-roadmap-to-restore-an-ancient-woodland

Another Lake County Forest Preserve project update about woody invasive species clearing projects. https://www.lcfpd.org/what-we-do/projects/woody-invasive-species-clearing-project/

Chicago Wilderness Oak Ecosystems Recovery Plan by Lake County Forest Preserve District and The Morton Arboretum.  Easy to read with references at end. See page 21 for a survey summary of land managers which supports brush and tree thinning. “Respondents…considered removal of woody invasive and canopy thinning as the most important strategies to promote oak regeneration.” https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/conservation/IWAP/Documents/Chicago%20Wilderness%20Oak%20Ecosystem%20Recovery%20Plan.pdf

Forest Preserves of Cook County: What is Restoration?  See the techniques page.https://fpdcc.com/nature/restoration/

Chicago Wilderness Alliance: Excellence in Ecological Restoration Program.  If you look at projects recognized you will see land management techniques used. https://www.chicagowilderness.org/page/EERPProgram

Managing Change in an Illinois Oak Woodland.  Henry Eilers has been managing an oak woods for a long time.  He was an early adopter of using prescribed fire.   https://www.internationaloaksociety.org/sites/default/files/files/IO/IOS%20Journal%20%2322/International%20Oaks%20No.%2022%20-%20Managing%20Change%20in%20an%20Illinois%20Oak%20Woodland%20-%20Henry%20Eilers.pdf

High-Diversity seed additions promote herb-layer recovery during restoration of degraded oak woodland.  Matthew A Albrecht, et. al. Ecological Solutions and Evidence.  “We found that adding high-diversity seed mixes in conjunction with non-native shrub removal, canopy thinning and burning, can accelerate recovery of herbaceous communities in a high degraded woodland”  https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/share/B39AW2FXYMJRF7XGPNTA?target=10.1002/2688-8319.12202

Thank you to Pati Vitt of Lake County Forest Preserve District for additions to the list.


About Grassland Restoration Network blog

Bill Kleiman publishes this blog. Bill's daytime job is manager of Nachusa Grasslands. We are looking for guest authors on various topics of grassland habitat restoration. Contact me with your ideas or drafts.
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