Flash In The Pin
the forest floor, which will benefit this new crop of pin oaks.
Eventually, we’ll have to treat the canopy as these trees continue to grow. For example, last year we had a timber harvest in the research plots in Pool 3. This was to help a group of seedling we’ve been managing since 2003. By creating openings in the canopy we are allowing the group of young oak seedlings to continue to move up within the forest structure and hopefully take their place in the overstory.
Taking advantage of when we have a good recruitment class of oak seedlings is important. As you can see, we will follow this group with our management actions in the years to come. However, in the short term, we must also make sure that some will make it through the winter.
Ducks in the Timber
Waterfowl season is upon us and we are flooding the area to attract the migrating mass of waterfowl that seasonally stop and refuel in this region. Small 8- to 15-inch tall pin oaks don’t do well under water. At first glance, it would appear that our timber management strategy might be in conflict with our waterfowl management. This is where timber stand diversity comes in handy.
We can flood lower elevations early because other species such as cypress, tupelo and overcup oak can handle wetter conditions. Waiting a few more weeks to flood up the higher elevations gives the less flood-tolerant species, like pin oaks, a little more time to prepare for winter in locations that are better suited for them anyway. By varying the timing and distribution of fall flooding we can meet the needs of multiple species.
Forest of the Future
I know waterfowl season seems to fly by like a flash in the pan. At Duck Creek, we want to make sure that folks can make the most of this opportunity each year. Hopefully, though, you can see that it is possible to meet the short-term needs of migratory waterfowl and provide hunting opportunities at the same time as account for the long-term needs of the forest.
To me this year’s pin oak seedling class represents the future moments and memories that will be made at Duck Creek while waterfowl hunting in the timber. That is exciting. I hope you are excited too. This year create some golden moments, knowing that we are working on providing you with future ones as well. Thanks again for your interest in Duck Creek, and good luck this season.