Brief Summary of Restoration Efforts
Restoration Goal. Fire-influenced savanna/woodland.
Field Operations. Restoration work was initiated along the south edge of this area in 1993 to remove white mulberry and elm trees from around bur oaks. No further work was done until tree removal was initiated again in 2002 to remove mostly white mulberry and some American elm, including large stump sprouts from trees cut in 1993. Trees were girdled and treated mid-summer and cut down during the winter. Trees were cut up for firewood and removed from the area, while smaller branches were piled and eventually burned. Thinning in the 5-acre (2-ha) valley progressed from south to north from 2002-2009. Over 70% of the 1100+ trees removed were American elms (Ulmus americana) and about 25% were white mulberries (Morus alba). The impact of the thinning work can be seen in this aerial photo series from 2004-2007:
The first prescribed burn of the area since the purchase of CERA in 1968 was conducted in the fall of 2003. The burn was patchy throughout the southern and central portions of the draw. Prescribed burns of the southern rim and portions of the interior have been implemented annually, except in 2005.
Intense, systematic efforts began in 2003 to control multiflora rose and burdock with herbicide applications.
Cool season native grasses, including Elymus canadensis, E. virginicus, E. villosus, and E. hystrix, were seeded in the south end of the valley and raked into ashes left from burn piles.
Volunteers have been critical for the restoration of this valley. Saturday morning volunteers have worked in several inches of snow and single-digit temperatures to help salvage firewood logs and pile branches.
No systematic monitoring is underway at this time. However, notable species inhabiting the valley include red-headed woodpeckers (which nested in a snag by the creek in 2009), eastern bluebirds (often seen in the oaks around the rim), and a spring ephemeral--spring beauties (Claytonia virginica), which have been observed flowering in a small patch in the north end of the valley and vegetatively through the central west side of the valley.
Contact the CERA Manager for access to the following data.
- Canopy thinning records (2003-2008): Species and dbh
- Herbaceous cover (2003-2009): Qualitative notes