Sustaining southeast Ohio’s mighty oaks

CFAES is helping sustain oak forests and the many kinds of life that need them. As a member of the Ohio Interagency Forestry Team, the college’s OSU Extension outreach arm is part of a collective effort to restore oak-dominated forests across 17 counties in southeast Ohio.

Not enough young oaks growing

“For thousands of years, oaks have been the dominant trees in the landscape of Appalachian Ohio, part of one of the most biodiverse temperate forests on earth,” said a press release from the Nelsonville, Ohio, office of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, which is also part of the team.

“Many species of animals, plants, and fungi depend on the presence of oaks for food and habitat,” the press release said. “Oaks still dominate the canopy, but there are not enough young oaks to sustain oak forests into the future.”

Five-year plan to help them

Over the next five years, the team will manage public oak-dominated forests in the region to keep them healthy—the project area includes 46 percent of Ohio’s forests, 17 of the state’s 22 state forests, and Ohio’s only national forest—and will work with private landowners to increase awareness of the loss of oaks and to cooperate on ways to manage them.

Read more. (Photo: Red oak, Getty Images.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *