Week 1

On a trip to Asbury on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, the group is trying to get their marble to run down PVC pipe and fall in a plastic cup before the students in the other group.

Week 1

Forestry juniors are lifting their fellow classmate to complete the task of getting each student over the eleven-foot wall. This was part of the Asbury challenge course on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Week 1

Forestry junior, Tanner Morris, taking on the high ropes challenge course at Asbury on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Week 1

The forestry juniors receive a briefing of how to do the high ropes challenge course safely at Asbury on January 10, 2018.

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, the forestry juniors were in the Thomas Poe Cooper building to receive field equipment necessary to complete the remainder of the semester.

Week 1 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Tanner Morris

On Wednesday, January 10th, the juniors in the forestry program attended the high and low ropes challenge courses at Asbury University. This event was held for the juniors to build a closer relationship to their classmates and establish teamwork. We started off the day by getting with partners and groups and completing simple tasks. Later in the day, we all came together to complete much more intense tasks such as getting each person over an eleven-foot-tall wall. After that, each student had a blast testing their abilities and overcoming fear to take on the high ropes course. The challenge courses at Asbury are not just for fun, but more importantly for building a closer relationship to your teammates and overcoming fears that you may have had. For example, if you didn’t think you would attempt the challenge course but you successfully completed it, you overcame that fear.

On Thursday, January 11th, class was held in the Thomas Poe Cooper (TPC) building and we received our field equipment for this spring. The field equipment we received was a hard hat, vest, compass, diameter tape, safety glasses, ear plugs, prism and Biltmore stick. This gear is what is needed for the field semester. Also on Thursday, Dr. Contreras held class in the TPC computer lab to review GIS mapping and to teach the class a program called Two Dog. This program calculates the data we will collect at Robinson Forest later in the semester.

This week helped me prepare for my future career by making me a better teammate, giving me the necessary equipment to do field work, as well as learning how to be a better co-worker. I learned how important it is to listen and trust the person sitting next to you. Also, I realized you can have fun while accomplishing difficult tasks.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 2

These forestry students are at the UK Arboretum on Wednesday, January 17th, and are doing a great job of showing the funny personality of the class, taking “readings” on Dr. Ringe’s DBH stick. These “readings” are the ones Dr. John Lhotka and Dr. Jim Ringe spent the day teaching to the students.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 2

This photo shows four UK Forestry students getting ready to go face the winter weather and learn about DBH, logs, height, and many other forestry skills at the Arboretum on January 17th with Drs. Lhotka and Ringe.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 2

This photo of John David Rudy, taken by Lena Caisley, demonstrates how a Wheeler Pentaprism is used to check the diameter of a tree in places that cannot be reached. This was part of an activity taught by Drs. Lhotka and Ringe at Berea College Forest on Thursday, January 18th about tree grading.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 2

On Thursday, January 18th, Dr. Ringe helped coach students on using a Wheeler Pentaprism in the Berea College Forest to determine where a ten-inch diameter is on the tree to determine where the logs stop on the tree (used for tree grading).

Week 2 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By John David Rudy

On week 2 (1/16- 1/19) of the 2018 Field Semester at the University of Kentucky, we spent time reviewing the key measurements taken by foresters. For example, we reviewed DBH (diameter at breast height), height, declination, slope, plot sampling, tree grading, and many other useful concepts. We traveled to the University of Kentucky’s Walnut Woods in the Arboretum and Berea College Forest. We were instructed by Dr. John Lhotka and Dr. Jim Ringe who gave out useful information and reviews to the students about the skills they will need for their future careers.

In this week of the semester, we refreshed our knowledge on how to measure the DBH of a tree, use tools to measure tree height, merchantable height, diameter in top, tree grading, setting declination on a compass, and determining the amount of wood in a tree (calculating board feet). These activities are important for a forestry student because these are skills that foresters use every day in their work, and it will be crucial for them to know how to do this quickly and correctly to be successful foresters. The skills we gained this week and earlier in the curriculum will help us in our careers as forestry professionals. Being a forestry professional means that people look to you to know about the woods and being able to determine exactly what is in a stand of trees, what a stand is worth, and what the best course of action will be for that stand.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 3

The photo is of consulting forester Chris Will demonstrating to the students how he performs mensuration on the job. This photo was taken in Berea College Forest by Michael Branscum on 1/22.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 3

The photo is from Somerset Pellet, the second stop on our industry tours for that week. The tour was led by the lead engineer and here he is showing the students the beginning process of how they make pellets. Photo by Michael Branscum.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 3

Students are participating in an industry tour at Robinson Stave Mill in East Bernstadt, KY, led by one of the procurement foresters of the company. Here they are outside talking about the sawing process for the lumber used. Photo by Michael Branscum.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 3

This picture is of the students (I’m in the red jacket in the front) touring the Robinson Stave Mill. We are watching the charring process of the barrels. Photo Tanner Morris.

Week 3 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Michael Branscum

During the week of January 22nd through January 26th my classmates and I travelled over 800 miles to participate in many different activities. The first activity was on Monday, 1/22, where the junior class and Dr. John Lhotka travelled to the Berea College Forest to meet with consulting foresters Chris Will and Luke Biscan, and Clint Patterson of Berea College. The day was spent learning about what consulting foresters do and going into the woods to have a hands on demonstration of their work. During that time we honed our forestry mensuration skills.

On January 23rd and 24th we went on industry tours led by Bobby Ammerman and visited the following locations: Somerset Hardwood Sawmill, Somerset Pellet, Somerset Hardwood Flooring, Robinson Stave Mill, and Stidham Cabinets. At each location we were given a tour of the facilities, shown what happens there, what they make, and how it is made. The tours were important to show us the variety of the forestry field. Not everyone with a forestry degree will be a consulting forester, some may work in the forest products industry such as a sawmill or stave mill. The tours prepared us for our future careers by showing us how vast the field of forestry is and just how much we can accomplish with a forestry degree.

Finally, on the evening of January 24th the junior class, along with Drs. Laura Lhotka and Thomas Ochuodho, and staff member Chad Niman arrived in Buchanan, TN for the Kentucky-Tennessee Society of American Foresters Winter Meeting. This meeting was well attended by forestry professionals from all across Kentucky and Tennessee, as well as Slovenia, and students from Sewanee and the University of Tennessee. Over the course of two days we were presented information ranging from tick encounters to the history of the National Hardwood Lumber Association. This conference was important for us to learn more about the field we are getting into and especially useful for us to network with potential employers. The conference helped us to prepare for the real world by showing us exactly what we are getting ourselves into and gave us a reason to talk to forestry professionals about the field.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 4

This photo was taken on January 29, along the trails at Flora Cliff. After searching for ash trees treated for the emerald ash bore, the spring semester class of 2018, stopped to take a few photos of Elk Lick Falls and its unique geological formation called a tufa.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 4

This photo was taken on January 29, at Flora Cliff during the invasive species removal, performed by the spring semester class of 2018. John Rudy is applying herbicide to kill a freshly cut stump of bush honeysuckle, an invasive species that chokes out native plants in the understory.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 4

After a lecture about different types of plant diseases, held in the conference room of the Cooper building, Dr. Ellen Crocker, took this picture of me, (John Yri), holding a block of sawdust inoculated with the mycelium of the oyster mushroom.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 4

In the lab room of the W.P. Garrigus building, on January 31, the 2018 spring semester class was inspecting specimens under microscopes and briefly learning how to categorize different types of fungi. The larger specimens on the table in the foreground of the photo include samples of heart rot and different species of conch fungi. Fungi are the most common pathogen to infect and damage trees.

Week 4 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By John Yri

During week 4, class field work took place at Flora Cliff and the UK campus. Instructors included, Dr. Ellen Crocker, speakers Julie Beal and Sarah Long from the UK plant diagnostics lab, Lou Shane and KDF forest health specialist Abe Nielsen.

Monday was the introduction to forest health, which consisted of a lecture and research for a poster presentation. Later, during the field trip to Flora Cliff, we used an app called TreeSnap to document the occurrence of ash trees and searched for indicators of the health of the forest. Later in the day, our class participated in invasive species removal. Tuesday was the introduction of forest pathology which consisted of a lecture about different types of plant diseases and a visit to the UK plant diagnostics lab. Our class used microscopes to see the details of lab specimens of different plant pathogens. Wednesday was the introduction to mycology and an introduction to wood decay fungi, which consisted of lab work with specimens. On Thursday our class presented our poster presentations and was introduced to urban forest health.

As a forestry student, it is important to know how the health of the forest is affected by diseases and invasive species. Invasive pests and diseases can permanently alter the composition of the forest, changing the ecology and value of the forest ecosystem. Knowledge about fungi is also important because fungi are usually the most common pathogens in trees.

As a forester, it is important to have the ability to tell whether a tree is diseased or structurally sound. The value of an individual tree depends on the form and quality of the tree, which can be affected by diseases or heart rot. Landowners may also have questions about the health of trees in an area, making it important to know the potential causes of injury and disease in trees.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 5

2/5/2018 - Students climb down a steep hill during Silvicultural Practices Class (Photo by Sarah Johnston)

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 5

2/8/2018 - Students had fun getting to know the friendly local dogs of Berea (Photo by Maya Collins-Patterson)

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 5

2/6/2018 - The class poses with some new friends (photo credit: John Lhotka)

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 5

2/9/2018 - Students attend American Tree Farm System Inspector Training led by Bob Bauer and Pam Snyder (photo credit: Sarah Johnston)

Week 5 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Sarah Johnston

The week of February 5 through February 9 was packed full of fun and educational experiences for the junior class. We learned all about forest silvicultural practices under the instruction of Professor John Lhotka, spending most of our time in the beautiful Kentucky Knobs of Berea College Forest. 

On Monday, we hiked over four miles off-trail through Berea Forest, learning important forestry skills such as compass and pacing, the connection between site and species composition, and early release treatment designation. On Tuesday and Wednesday we focused on an aspect of forestry integral to our Kentucky hardwoods industry: oak regeneration. We toured stands of mature oak and compared them to stands growing post-harvest, discussing how to optimize site preparation and silvicultural harvest methods to best aid oak in regeneration. Following some data collection, we gained experience using Silvah Oak software to explore and recommend treatments for an oak stand. On Thursday we practiced our measurements skills as we worked on stand delineation and calculated the stocking of a productive yellow-poplar stand, and turned in a write-up recommending an area-wide thinning prescription. These hands-on experiences gave us insights into what forestry looks like out in the woods, applying the theory that we’ve learned in the classroom. It was a valuable educational experience for the whole class, and thanks to the skills we exercised we are now more empowered than before to feel confident applying forestry principles in a real-world career environment.

On Friday we attended a training session on the American Tree Farm System certification program. We learned all about the benefits and nuances of forest certification, and were treated to a catered lunch by the presenters before wrapping up the training with a quiz on what we learned.  This was a nice wrap-up to an exciting week.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 6

Dr. Marco Contreras began week 6 reviewing the proper way to measure trees, the Excel program, and the TwoDog software we would need to know for the next two weeks of work.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 6

Dr. Marco Contreras showing the proper way to measure a fixed radius plot in the Arboretum Woods.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 6

Michael Branscum and Tanner Morris using a 10 BFA prism to measure a variable plot point.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 6

Dr. Marco Contreras helping the class use the TwoDog software with the data we collected from the Arboretum Woods.

Week 6 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Kenny Swansegar

Week 6 of the 2018 Forestry Spring Field semester started on February 12th in the Thomas Poe Copper building computer lab. Dr. Marco Contreras gave the class a full review of tree and plot measurements, along with teaching us methods of using Excel and TwoDog, which is used to calculate stand data. For the measurement portion we covered how to use a compass, how to correct for slope when doing horizontal distance, and how to measure tree total height and merchantable height. On Tuesday, we spent the day in the Arboretum Woods at The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky taking plot samples and collecting tree DBH and total and merchantable height in both a fixed and variable sampling method. On Wednesday, we used the data we collected at the Arboretum Woods and entered it into a stand data table in Excel and TwoDog to analyze our data. Week 6 was important because it taught us to work with the equipment we will most likely encounter as forestry professionals.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 7

Measuring tree heights.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 7

Getting ready to head out in the morning.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 7

Students unwind in the dining hall after enjoying some of Mrs. Neeva’s fine home cooking.

Photo of Spring Field Semester 2018

Week 7

Taking a break for lunch under a sweet rock shelter.

Week 7 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Aaron Gray

The students arrived at Robinson Forest the morning of February 19th. Upon arrival, we moved into the cozy cabins and promptly got to work. During our seventh week of spring camp and our first down at Robinson Forest students were grouped together and assigned the task of taking inventory of stands of timber that were approximately forty acres in size. The terrain was steep, between 20 and 90 percent slope, but the weather was remarkable and students enjoyed temperatures in the 70s with sunshine for most of the week. Each group of students made their own maps in order to navigate to each of thirty or so plots in order to complete the inventory. During our data collection we recorded species, diameter at breast height, total height as well as merchantable height.  In the evening, the students worked together with their group members to enter data we collected into Two Dog for further analysis. Once all the data had been collected, groups worked together to create a full timber inventory report. In their reports students provided statistical analysis of tree count, basal area, and volume as well as graphics and data to support a recommended management goal.

The students enjoyed Mrs. Neeva’s outstanding home cooking while relaxing in the dining hall before and after long days of hard climbing in the mountains. The food was great and all the students were eager to find out what was going to be served next.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 8

My classmates and I preparing to fell a chestnut oak for our class project.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 8

In this picture the chestnut oak has been felled and is in the process of having two logs removed from it.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 8

Above is a picture of classmate and Dr. Jim Ringe moments before operating the skidder in Robinson Forest.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 8

We made side tables at the Wood Utilization Center.

Week 8 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Shannon Harris

During this week of the field semester, the students were accompanied by Dr. Terry Conners and Dr. Jim Ringe. Additionally, Mr. Chad Niman, an Extension Associate was also present and assisted our professors with the week’s activities. Our week began on February 26th and ended on March 2nd where we concluded our work at the Wood Utilization Center. Prior to visiting the Wood Utilization Center in Quicksand, Kentucky our time was spent in Robinson Forest. While at Robinson Forest we conducted a project that entailed grading a standing tree followed by determining its stumpage value. After the tree was felled we removed a 12’ butt log and 9’ tie log. Prior to bucking the logs my classmates and I paired up into groups of two where we negotiated prices for the butt log. Each group came up with their own unique value for the log and we recorded these values for future analysis.

For our next activity, we left Robinson Forest to visit the Wood Utilization Center in Quicksand, Kentucky. While there, we machined and processed FAS grade red oak boards to make our own personal tables. Once we completed this process, the class determined the value added to that raw material by the making of the tables. Activities like these are important in the world of forestry because understanding the process of wood utilization is paramount. This week taught me important concepts like how value is added to raw lumber and how the wood industry uses these concepts to operate.


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Week 9

Dr. Cox talking with UK Forestry juniors about scat found on a ridgetop at Kentucky River Farm.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 9

UK Forestry juniors watching the removal of autumn olive from a ridgetop.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 9

Junior, Sarah Johnston, pointing out racoon track found at Kentucky River Farm.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 9

Maya holding a black bear cub in Cumberland, KY.

Week 9 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Maya Collins-Paterson

During this week, the forestry juniors spent their time with Dr. Cox and Dr. Springer learning about wildlife assessment. The first day of class we traveled to Kentucky River Farm. During class we learned how to identify the presence of animals through sound and sight. We also learned which habitats are conducive to the wildlife present in these areas.

The second day of class we traveled to Robinson Forest with Dr. Springer to see the mass removal of autumn olive, an invasive shrub. We then looked at efforts in growing small trees and shrubs in areas with high deer and elk populations.

The third day of class we traveled back to the Kentucky River Farm with Dr. Cox. From there, our class split into groups where we surveyed two 1/10th acre plots (one near the creek and the other higher on the ridgetop). The purpose of this was to find out what species of trees, shrubs, and invasive species were on the landscape and what wildlife was found there naturally.

For the fourth day of classes we traveled to Cumberland, KY to track a mother black bear which had been previously been outfitted with a radio collar. We were met by the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife and the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency. From there we waited for the professionals and professors to locate the bear. Once located she was tranquilized, we were able to examine the den, the mother, and her two cubs.

The activities throughout the week are important to forestry students because the interaction of wildlife in forests and the relationship people have with them. I will use the activities from this week to be able to assess land for wildlife use.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 10

Snow falling on a non commercial timber harvest in the Nantahala National Forest, March 21st

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 10

Best “Buds” Kayla Shaffer, Michael Branscum, and Dan Eaton at the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest on March 20th

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 10

John David Rudy and Michael Branscum hugging trees at the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 10

Say Trees! Junior class with Dr. John Lhotka in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest.

Week 10 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Kayla Shaffer

Week 10 of the Spring Field Semester, March 26th- 30th, was spent in North Carolina and Georgia. The first day of class was spent at Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, one of the largest old-growth stands in the eastern United States. During the hike we measured a 77” DBH yellow-poplar along with other very large poplars, sycamores, and oaks.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Forest Service gave us a tour of the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina showing us the importance of watersheds and how to correctly manage them. We spent the rest of the day traveling up mountains to various logging sites to see how logging operations take place within the U.S. Forest Service. After traveling through the snowy, cold mountains we visited the National Forest’s Ranger Station and toured the fire engines used to fight wildland fires.

On Thursday, the U.S. Forest Service gave us tours of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia where we learned how important prescribed fires are to meet the needs of wildlife management and regeneration, such as Table Mountain pine. These rare pines are difficult to regenerate and need fire to release the seeds. The only existence of a Table Mountain pine plantation is on the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. We also visited open areas that were crucial for wildlife habitat. These areas allow for more species and provide a different type of ecosystem for new regeneration and wildlife species.

Thanks to the generosity of the U.S. Forest Service we were able to apply our knowledge of silviculture to the real world and have a better understanding of its importance.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 11

Russell Caseman practicing using chainsaws.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 11

Tanner Morris, Russell Caseman, Chaise Payne, and Michael Branscum from left to right.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 11

Forestry student, John David Rudy, handling pesticides to kill hemlock wooly adelgid.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 11

Junior forestry class talking with Dr. Jeff Stringer on use of herbicides in forestry applications.

Week 11 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Russell Caseman Jr.

On Monday March 26th, Kentucky Master Logger, Jim Spangler, taught us about the safety and proper use of chainsaws. We went over the different parts and safety features found on modern chainsaws as well as the proper protection needed to operate them. We were allowed to practice using chainsaws in the log yard cutting logs and making proper open face cuts on upright logs.

On Tuesday March 27th, the Kentucky Division of Forestry taught us about hemlock wooly adelgid. They described how hemlock wooly adelgid came to be a problem in the United States and what we are doing to protect our hemlocks. They brought a pesticide used to treat eastern hemlock trees. We then treated some trees located on Robinson Forest.

On March 28th and 29th, Dr. Jeff Stringer discussed Kentucky Best Management Practices (BMPs) for the Kentucky Master Logger program. He described the use of herbicides and insecticides in forestry applications, taking special note on their labels and how to properly read and follow them. Dr. Stringer also showed us a watershed streamside management zone (SMZ) project. The project tested the SMZ standards in Kentucky as well as new standards. Different widths and types of cuttings near streams were tested and as well as how they affected water quality.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 12

UK Forestry juniors John Yri, Tanner Morris, Shannon Harris, and John David Rudy taking a stream gauge measurement of the flow rate of Clemons Fork Creek with help from USGS hydrologists on the first day of classes during hydrology week.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 12

Lena Caisley using a Munsell soil color book to classify the color of soil from soil pits in Robinson Forest.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 12

Hannah Hollowell kick-netting for macroinvertebrates to evaluate stream health in Cane Run Creek at UK’s Spindletop Farm.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 12

Maya Collins-Paterson examining macroinvertebrate samples collected from Cane Run Creek under a microscope in the lab.

Week 12 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Hannah Hollowell

During week 12 of the forestry field semester, the junior class returned to Robinson Forest to learn about hydrology and soils from PhD student, Kenton Sena, and research analyst, Andrea Drayer, as well as many guest instructors from the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Geological Survey. The first day, April 2, was spent collecting stream flow and water quality data from area creeks in and around Robinson Forest and evaluating the different watersheds. Day two focused on soils, with guest instructors helping explain soil classifications at several soil pits at Robinson Forest. The third day involved a field trip to Morehead to visit part of the Daniel Boone National Forest and see stream restoration projects being tested there. Day four was spent in Lexington at Cane Run Creek on UK’s Spindletop Farm evaluating the creek using the Stream Visual Assessment Protocol and sampling macroinvertebrates to calculate stream health.

Because this week of the field semester focused on hydrology and soils, most of each day was spent out in the field getting hands-on practice taking measurements to assess stream health and soil composition. Understanding how to evaluate stream and soil health, and knowing what factors affect that health, is vital to being a responsible forestry professional. In many places sampled at Robinson Forest, having a forested land cover helped maintain healthy streams and develop healthy soils. Being aware of the effects that our management of forests can have on other aspects of the ecosystem is important as we manage for timber and other forest resources.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 13

Group photo before heading off on our downhill hike on Tuesday. Purpose of the hike was to help us become more comfortable with where different tree species prefer to grow.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 13

Michael clinging onto his favorite type of tree, a cucumber tree, on Tuesday’s hike.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 13

A quick selfie during one of our breaks during our hike on Tuesday.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 13

Discussing the different thinning methods, how they compare and differ from one another on Thursday.

Week 13 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Lena Caisley

The UK forestry juniors spent the final week at Robinson Forest studying silviculture with Dr. John Lhotka. The topic of the day on Monday was oak regeneration. The students took part in an exercise that required them to collect data in four overstory plots and eight regeneration plots to determine how much oak regeneration was occurring at the site being surveyed. In groups, the students were tasked with devising a plan to improve oak regeneration. In Kentucky, white oak and other oak species are a vital part of our economy, and as foresters it is important that we know how to manage and regenerate oak for long term sustainability. On Tuesday, Dr. Lhotka assembled his students for a hike to observe how species composition changes on different aspects and slopes. Crop tree release was the focus on Wednesday. Dr. Lhotka explained why crop tree release is practiced, how one selects trees for release, and how it is carried out.  On the last day at Robinson Forest, Thursday, the students and Dr. Lhotka took to the forest one last time to look at different thinning methods. An exercise was handed out and asked the students to determine which thinning method had been used and which yielded the best results on the site.

This week was vastly important to us juniors, as we got hands on experience carrying out silvicultural practices we had previously studied in the classroom.  Our spring camp, put on every year for the juniors, greatly benefits us in our education because we are able to take the knowledge we have acquired in the classroom and apply it out in the forest. This makes us better foresters when we graduate, because we already have hands on experience.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 14

UK Forestry Students at a local Christmas tree farm. Learning planting practices and engaging in hands on planting to solidify the discussion about the industry.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 14

UK Forestry Students with regional KDF foresters to inspect BMP’s on a logging site. Issues of compliance with the regulations were checked as the site was walked over by the students and foresters.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 14

UK Forestry Students conversing with local loggers about their logging practices and equipment. A demonstration of these practices was given and the students were able to interact with the equipment on site.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 14

Chaise Payne sitting in a cut-to-length logging system.

Week 14 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Chaise Payne

This week of spring camp was spent with our very own Dr. Stringer. From April 16th-20th, we traveled throughout Kentucky, planting trees at a Christmas tree farm and visiting various logging sites. The Christmas tree planting showed us various planting techniques as well as industry standards and policies. The following Tuesday and Wednesday was spent in the Western part of the state going on logging sites to inspect Best Management Practices (BMPs) and to talk with loggers about their operations. We were grateful to have seen BMP's and logging practices done practically before our eyes. This shows us what it is like to be on the business end of these regulations and how it affects the people involved and the environment. Practically, this allows the students to begin thinking about using these practices in future careers.

On Thursday, we visited a Domtar paper mill in Hawesville, Ky. This trip gave us insight into the valuable paper and pulp industry. We were able to learn about issues facing the industry as well as the practical methods being used to overcome this issue. As future leaders in the field of forestry, we will be faced with the implementation of today’s hard work as well as putting in the effort to overcome new challenges. This trip gave us insight in this ongoing cycle of the forest industry.


Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 15

Hannah handles a spotted salamander during Dr. Price’s herpetology demonstration on Tuesday April 24.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 15

Michael Branscum enjoys the view from atop Natural Bridge at Natural Bridge State Park while looking for bird species with Dr. Cox on Wednesday April 25.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 15

Field semester students Dan Eaton and Tanner Morris enjoy learning about bird species at the Natural Bridge State Park on Wednesday April 25.

Photo of Spring Field Semester Students 2018

Week 15

Field semester students gather at the WT Young Library to listen to capstone presentations by forestry seniors on the afternoon of Thursday April 26.

Week 15 - Spring Field Semester 2018

By Dan Eaton

Week 15 of the field semester was a mix of wildlife studies and professional development experiences. The first two days took place at the Thomas Poe Cooper building in the classroom due to inclement weather. However, that didn’t stop our professors from giving us hands on experience! Dr. Steve Price brought the wildlife to us with his large collection of live reptiles and amphibians. We spent the day handling wildlife and learning about how forest management affects it.

On Wednesday, we travelled to Natural Bridge State Park with Dr. Cox to listen and observe native Kentucky bird species in their natural habitat. This helped us to identify species in order to more effectively conduct wildlife assessments in our future careers.

The professional development part of the week was Thursday and Friday and saw students attending the seniors’ capstone presentation in the William T. Young Library Auditorium and then the Spring Recognition Dinner at the E.S. Good Barn. The capstone presentations demonstrated to field semester students what they will be doing in the year to come. It also gave us an opportunity to appreciate the work that the senior class put into their capstone projects.

This was followed by a Coffee Reception at the E.S. Good Barn sponsored by the UK Forestry alumni association. The reception connected students with UK Forestry alumni and stakeholders. The day concluded with the Spring Recognition Dinner, recognizing both graduate and undergraduate forestry students. Many students were recognized, including graduation seniors and the recipient of the Forestry Alumni Scholarship, Hannah Hollowell. The undergraduate portion of the presentation was organized and conducted by undergraduate forestry students, helping us refine our presentation and public speaking skills.



How can we help? Photo of Laura Lhotka

If you have questions about the UK Forestry program or would like to schedule a visit, let us know.

Contact Laura Lhotka, Forestry Academic Coordinator 859-257-8718, laura.lhotka@uky.edu