Forestry

Forest Research has been a part of the center since its inception. The original maps show areas of research to grow trees for fencing. Buildings built about 1930 by the Civilian Conservation Corps demonstrated how materials from a farm could be used for construction. Woodlot management was conducted from the beginning and continues unit the present. Based on the work at the U. S. Forest Service Crossett Experimental Forest, all-aged management research began in 1946 and is still active. Forest Research greatly expanded in the 1970's with the addition of the Spencer Tract. Hardwood plantation, pine genetics, pine species comparisons, nutrient cycling, herbicide screening, entomology, and Christmas tree research have all been investigated at the SWREC. Forestry has been such an important part of the Center that in 1982 when the modern era began, a Ph.D. forester was hired as the first faculty member besides the director on the station.

Study Summary

CHERRYBARK OAK PLANTATION GROWTH STUDY

This study compares the effects of various thinning and pruning regimes on the growth and development of Cherrybark Oak Trees. The three treatments applied are 1) thin with no pruning; 2) thin and prune; and 3) no thinning or pruning. The thinnings were done 1992 and 2002. Results show that thinnings have increased diameter growth but have had no effect on height growth.

THREE OAKS PLANTATION GROWTH AND THINNING STUDY

This study compares the survival, growth and development of three oak species after thinning. Shumard Oak, Nuttall Oak, and Cherrybark Oak were hand planted on 10 x 10 foot spacing in 15 plots, 1.7 acres per plot. Thinnings will be applied to determine treatment effects on maximizing timber quality. This field was formerly used to grow hay.

PINE FERTILIZATION WITH POULTRY LITTER STUDY

This seven acre study compares the responses of young Loblolly Pine seedlings to poultry litter and commercial fertilizer application. The pine seedlings were planted on 8 x 10 foot spacing. Commercial fertilizer (DAP and urea), pelletized poultry litter, and a combination of each were applied to treatment plots soon after planting. Control plots received no nutrient amendments. Seedling growth will be monitored to compare responses to different sources and similar levels of phosphorus and nitrogen.

OLD SUDDEN SAWLOG STUDY/EFFECTS OF POULTRY LITTER FERTILIZATION STUDY

The pine trees for the overstory (Old Sudden Sawlog Study) were planted in 1978. In 1987, the plantation was thinned to two tree densities, 100 trees per acre and 250 trees per acre, and pruned to a height of 8 feet. In 1991, the two tree densities wee split and thinned to four densities; 30, 50, 70, and 90 square feet of basal area per acre. In 1993-94, the tree densities were split again and half of each tree density was pruned to a height of 17 feet. Thinnings were done periodically to maintain the four basal areas. Poultry litter was applied to plots in 2004. Litter effects on tree growth will be measured. Water runoff is monitored to determine the amount of nutrients leaving the site.

EFFECTS OF TREE SHELTERS ON GREEN ASH AND CHERRYBARK OAK

This study compared three types of tree shelters and their effects on the early survival and growth of hardwood tree seedlings. Tree shelters protect seedlings from animal damange and improve early height growth by maintaining a higher humidity environment. Cherrybark Oak and Green Ash seedling survival and growth in Tubex®, Protex®, and BLUE-X® shelters were compared to unsheltered seedlings over several years to determine how well the shelters performed. Costs of using each shelter type were also compared. 

ACTIVE STUDIES AND DEMONSTRATIONS

Loblolly Pine Research
Uneven-Aged Management—Established 1946
Cooperators—Dr. Jamie Schuler, University of Arkansas at Monticello
Fertilization with Poultry Litter—Established 2006
Cooperators—Dr. Hal Liechty, University of Arkansas at Monticello
Varietals Comparison Study—Established 2009
Cooperators—Dr. Victor Ford, University of Arkansas at SWREC, Dr. Jamie Schuler, University of Arkansas at Monticello, Dr. Jon Barry, Cooperative Extension Service—Hope
Various Hardwood Species Research
Cherrybark Oak Plantation Growth Study—Established 1962
Cooperators—Dr. Matthew Pelkki, University of Arkansas at Monticello
Mixed Species Biomass Demonstration—Established 2009
Cooperators—Chris Stuhlinger, University of Arkansas System Forester
Three Oak Species Plantation Growth and Thinning Study—Established 2006
Cooperators—Dr. Matthew Pelkki, University of Arkansas at Monticello
Mixed Species Oak Plantation Growth Study—Established 2009
Cooperators—Dr. Jamie Schuler, University of Arkansas at Monticello
Cottonwood and Black Willow Clonal Bank—Established 2009
Cooperators—Chris Stuhlinger, University of Arkansas System Forester
Cottonwood Biomass Cutting Study—Established 2009
Cooperators—Dr. Jamie Schuler, University of Arkansas at Monticello
Sweetgum Plantation Observation—Established 1965
Cooperators—Chris Stuhlinger, University of Arkansas System Forester
Bald Cypress Plantation Observation—Established 1968
Cooperators—Chris Stuhlinger, University of Arkansas System Forester
Mixed Species Streamside Buffer Restoration—Established 2006
Cooperators—Chris Stuhlinger, University of Arkansas System Forester
Mixed Species Streamside Timber Improvement Demonstration—Established 2008
Cooperators—Dr. Jon Barry, Cooperative Extension Service—Hope
Water Quality Research
Effects of Poultry Litter Fertilization—Established 2004
Cooperators—Dr. Hal Liechty, University of Arkansas at Monticello, Dr. Robert Ficklin, University of Arkansas at Monticello


Wildlife Research
Quail Habitat Restoration Demonstration—Established 2008
Cooperators—Rex Roberg, Cooperative Extension Service—Little Rock, Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Hempstead County Office