Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Forest Research Review

The Research Program of the Virginia Department of Forestry published its latest edition of its Forest Research Review in April. The introduction of this publication is reproduced below.

A PDF of the report can be downloaded from: http://www.dof.virginia.gov/research/publications.shtml#ForestResearchReview

"It’s been a busy six months since our last publication. In October, we helped to host the conference "Northern Limits – Restoring the Longleaf Pine Ecosystem in Virginia" in Wakefield. Also in October, we completed collection of our loblolly pine second generation improved seed crop from the orchard in Milledgeville, GA. The best 20 families produced in excess of 3,200 bushels of cones that yielded more than 6,000 pounds of seed for the future seedling crops from our Garland Gray Nursery. With help from the Forest Nutrition Cooperative, we began installation in December of a study of loblolly pine response to varying intensities of mid-rotation thinning in combination with fertilization. Before tree growth resumes in the spring, we will also remeasure VDOF’s mid-rotation fertilizer tests, as well as a MeadWestvaco density and fertilization trial. And just this week, we installed multiple locations of a study to look at the effects of new insecticides for controlling tipmoth in young loblolly pine.

In this issue, you’ll find summaries of recent information gathered from tests of clonal loblolly pine plantations; performance in Virginia of loblolly and longleaf pine from various geographic seed sources; early effects of biosolid applications on loblolly pine growth; growth of loblolly pine seedlings interplanted in understocked one-year-old plantations, and responses of southern red oak to crop tree release and fertilization. And we’re introducing a new feature highlighting the results of our collaborations with research cooperatives. We’ll take time in each issue to summarize recent reports from the various cooperatives in which VDOF is a member, including the Tree Improvement, Forest Nutrition, and Growth and Yield cooperatives. We hope you’ll find the information interesting and useful.

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments, and be sure to visit our Web site at http://www.dof.virginia.gov/research/publications.shtml to browse through all the publications, fact sheets and analytical tools from the VDOF Research Program during its more than 53-year history."

You may contact the research program staff with any questions or suggestions you may have:

Jerre Creighton, research program manager, Central Office; (434) 977-6555; jerre.creighton@dof.virginia.gov

Wayne Bowman, research forester, Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest; (434) 983-2175; wayne.bowman@dof.virginia.gov

Onesphore Bitoki, tree improvement forester, New Kent Forestry Center;

(804) 966-2201; ones.bitoki@dof.virginia.gov

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Virginia Forest Type Map 1940

In 1940 the US Forest Service conducted the first systematic forest survey in Virginia. Survey crews put in over 31,000 ¼-acre plots spaced at 10 chains along cruise lines 10 miles apart. The data collected were used to produce tabular summaries of forest conditions and stocking. The data were also used to produce a general forest type map.

The old map is printed in green and white on an 8-1/2 by 11 inch page and is difficult to read. To create a more informative map, I scanned the original map, geo-registered it with the 2000 Census County map, and created a modern GIS vector dataset. I feel this map is much easier to use.

One of the interesting things to note are the distributions of the pine-hardwood types (loblolly-hardwood, Virginia pine-hardwood, shortleaf pine-hardwood, shortleaf – pitch pine-hardwood, and white pine-hardwood). Keep in mind that the definition of pine-hardwood stands include any stand with 25% or greater pine volume.
Click on map for a bigger image:

National Woodland Owner Survey

The National Woodland Owner Survey Table Maker is now available online.
This tool allows users to generate custom tables based on the 2002-2006 NWOS data. Users can select their state(s) of interest, the variable(s) of interest, and apply an optional size of forest holdings filter. There are over 50 variables that can be summarized including landowners' concerns, demographics, forest holding characteristics, future intentions, leasing, forest management practices, collection of non-timber forest products, owner type, program participation, ownership objectives, and timber harvesting.
This tool can be accessed through at: http://fiatools.fs.fed.us/NWOS/tablemaker.jsp.
The latest estimate for family forest owners in Virginia is 402,000 (standard error +/- 58,000) with more than ½ of these (220,000 +/- 56,000) owning less than 10 acres of forestland. The 48,000 (+/-7,000) owners that own 50 or more acres control over 67% of the family-owned forest.