Friday, April 11, 2008

Presentation by Dr. Finley

Forestry Speaker


The overview of his presentation is that of the 58% of Pennsylvania that is forested, much of the land is privately owned and the size of the land is being parcelized (broken into smaller and smaller tracts). Since most land owners who harvest their forests do not hire a forester, the result is high grading and not thinking about the future forests. They are not waiting for adequate regeneration and what does manage to regenerate is not what we want to see. The main tree species that are regenerating are red maple and black birch. Deer don't eat them or fern. The fern shades out and filters the light needed by the tree seedlings and then if oak regeneration does manage to out grow the fern, the deer browse it off. If the deer don't browse it off, then the oak has to compete with the faster growing birch and maple.

Using tests such as the ASID test and fencing out deer, we can see that the deer, fern, and competition as well as invasive insects like the Gypsy moth paint a very bleak picture for the oak. One of the things that we can do is educate the public and try to use best management practices to ensure a strong forest in the future. This website discusses the concern for deer and Gypsy moth, which relate to the decrease in oak regeneration and its component in our forests, especially in our future forests.

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