Week 15

White oak brought into the facility from drying to be made into barrels.

Week 15

Red oak being offloaded and soon to be put in the kiln.

Week 15

Hickory logs just after being debarked, being sent into the saw mill.

Week 15

A bourbon barrel, about halfway through the process of being built.

   

Week 15 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Nick Yonkos

This week we went on several interesting forest industry tours led by Bobby Ammerman and Chad Niman. Monday, we visited Somerset Hardwood Flooring in Somerset, Kentucky. We saw the entire process of timber entering their facility as logs and departing as cut and stained flooring in 25 square feet parcels for delivery. Tuesday, we had an eventful day. We visited Robinson Stave Mill & Barrel, BPM Lumber and Patterson Chip all within the London-Corbin, Kentucky area. These facilities deal with hardwood lumber and we received a better understanding of the business and politics that comes with the industrial side of forestry. Wednesday, we visited Tarter Gate. This is a company that began manufacturing wooden gates in the 1940s and is now a leading farm equipment manufacturer in the region. Thursday, my classmates and I went through American Tree Farm training to become foresters with the ability to inspect property and certify it as a Tree Farm. The forest industry tours introduced us to many other forestry professions. We also met many UK Forestry graduates, such as Hagan Wonn, a procurement forester for Somerset Hardwood Flooring. It was enlightening to hear about their pathways and the opportunities they have come across in their career. Also, it was interesting to watch the process of a red oak tree go from log to flooring in a matter of an hour, excluding drying time.


Week 14

Sean with a large black rat snake Dr. Cox spotted while on our way to the next set of inventory plots.

Week 14

Dr. Price showing the class a mud salamander, an individual that he sees consistently under the same log.

Week 14

Dr. Price, Trevor, Witt, Isaiah and a Berea College Forester check under a piece of carpet Tuesday morning for animals.

Week 14

Students listen to high ropes course instructors review safety equipment and course procedures.

   

Week 14 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Parker Wohlstein and Clarence Worrell

This week of the semester was the second week of our wildlife course. Most of the week’s activities were with Dr. Cox but Tuesday was spent with Dr. Price and Dr. Springer. On Monday morning we left the Cooper building and headed down to Garrard County, where we spent our day at Wolf Trail Farm. There we took inventory plots in three different locations on the farm while listening for and identifying bird species in between taking measurements. These plots would be used to relate bird species observed to forest composition. On Tuesday we met with Dr. Price and Dr. Springer at Berea College Forest. We started by looking under sheets of tin and other forms of cover looking for snakes and later in the day walked a creek and explored more wetland areas looking for amphibian species. We observed a lot of very interesting herptofauna and learned how to search for these often overlooked creatures and assess their habitat.

The class met with Dr. Cox at Lexington Cemetery Wednesday morning to observe migratory and native bird species. We listened for bird songs and then used binoculars to visually identify them. It is important for forestry students to be able to recognize important bird species in an area to help them better judge what forestry practices to implement. Thursday we had a final exam in FOR 365 to review the previous two weeks of classes. Friday, the class met at the Challenge Course at Asbury University with three Challenge Course instructors and Dr. Laura Lhotka. We spent the morning doing team building activities and a low ropes course. The team building activities were structured to help build trust and solve problems as a group. Working well together in a group and trusting your group members are both important qualities for foresters to have when in the forest in a small team relying on each other for information and safety.


Week 13

Josh Frazier shows students the clearcut in Yatesville and explains how it is used to manage for wildlife.

Week 13

Dr. Springer finds various animal tracks at the clearcut in Yatesville and shows them to students.

Week 13

Dr. Springer explaining to students at the Robinson Forest bat clearcut how measurements can be taken to benefit wildlife.

Week 13

Dr. Springer refreshing students on how to safely fell a tree with a chainsaw at Paul Van Booven Wildlife Management Area.

   

Week 13 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Isaiah Turner

This week, classes were held with Dr. Matt Springer. This week’s main objective was to learn how silviculture plays a role in wildlife management. Students learned how silvicultural practices for timber production and for wildlife management can be similar and different. Monday, we had a lecture at TPC with Dr. John Cox for a refresher on the fundamentals of wildlife and silvicultural practices. Tuesday, we held class in Yatesville, KY for a tour led by Josh Frazier of two logging sites that demonstrate clearcut harvests for the benefit of wildlife. Wednesday, Dr. Springer split the class in half and took us, one group at a time, to the Robinson Forest bat clearcut. Here, we learned how we can take different measurements in a forest and how they can apply to the management of different types of wildlife. Thursday, we went to Paul Van Booven Wildlife Management Area to manage a 1–2-acre plot of land for J.J. Baker. Our management goal was to bring in more wildlife species, so we marked trees that fruit with a hard mast that the wildlife love. We then went through with chainsaws and each got to fell 3-5 trees under close supervision. As a forester, it is important to know how silviculture plays a role in wildlife and how it can differ from managing from a timber production standpoint. Thursday’s activity was very important to get hands-on knowledge on clearing a stand for wildlife and how to arrange your brush for the benefit of wildlife.


Week 12

Dr. Stringer emphasizing the importance of sustainability and Best Management Practices in the logging industry.

Week 12

Class demonstration on how PVC pipe can be used as reusable, cost effective way to cross streams while reducing sedimentation into larger perennial streams.

Week 12

Austin and class working at Maker’s Mark to plant trees for a white oak genetics study.

Week 12

A building on Maker’s Mark grounds, where white oak is an important species for the bourbon industry in Kentucky.

   

Week 12 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Austin Teabo

This week, Dr. Stringer took the students on two different sites to examine Best Management Practices (BMPs) that are in accordance with Kentucky State law, and then a tour to sum up the importance of the relationship with BMPs and the logging industry. The class took another tour to Maker’s Mark to see how different industries use the wood that logging industry provides. Dr. Stringer also emphasized the importance of how decisions being made in the field, whether grading, logging, or transporting, can have a cumulative impact on the finished product. While on the logging sites, the class looked for how different logging companies followed the same procedure in installing BMPs to help reduce sedimentation into perennial streams.

Because of BMPs, loggers are encouraged to leave the site in the best condition possible (and in some cases by law) to promote a high quality of water in the forest, such as water bars. As the class saw, water bars installed on the skid trails allowed water to flow off the hillside and reduce erosion. This allowed less sediment to get into ephemeral streams, which allowed wildlife to thrive there.

The last logging site, the class spoke with a lifelong logger and business owner Chris Terry. Chris talked to the class about not only the technical aspect of logging, but also how important it was to understand the business side of the industry as well. When it comes to business, important decisions like understanding taxes, insurance, workers compensation, and even contracting out equipment and people, can make all the difference on how you run your business. As a final tour, the class planted trees for a white oak genetics study, and see the Maker’s Mark facility to see the relationship between the logging and bourbon industry.  As a forester, it is important to understand how you can make money, appeal to a demanding market for wood products, while trying to manage the forest, making it sustainable for future generations to enjoy.


Week 11

Dr. John Lhotka is giving a lecture on silvicultural treatments and terminology to the students in the Robinson Forest classroom.

Week 11

The class is walking to research sites on the ridge above Bucklick Hollow.

Week 11

Luke listening to Dr. John Lhotka explain the details of an old patch clearcut study implemented by the U.S. Forest Service.

Week 11

Austin and Daniel carefully listening to the briefing on the days tasks.

   

Week 11 - Spring Field Semester

by Luke Starkey

Week 11 was taught by Dr. John Lhotka at Robinson Forest. The junior class of 2021 learned about different silvicultural treatments and site species relationships. Throughout the week Dr. Lhotka led hikes around Robinson Forest to see the many research areas and to show different landscape features as well as the tree species that inhabit them. The students were challenged to write several silvicultural prescriptions to meet management goals. These assignments included variable plot sampling and regeneration surveys to assess the stands’ current and future timber growth.

Part of every good silvicultural plan is the regeneration of the next stand following a harvest. Surveying advanced regeneration gives a forester an idea of what trees would be in the future stand. The students conducted several regeneration surveys and learned how stand structure and site productivity can impede seedling growth. Dr. Lhotka discussed the different treatments that the students could prescribe to improve seedling density and vigor.

Forest management is multi-faceted and at its core is silviculture. Many times in the past, the art and science of growing, managing, and the harvesting of timber sustainably has been overlooked and resulted in degraded forests. Irresponsible management practices impact regional economic and ecological stability. Learning how to manage stands of timber sustainably will help the students to make better decisions as foresters, leading to healthier tree communities. Practical exercises in stand prescription writing gives students real world experience. Dr. Lhotka had the juniors present management plans that they had collected data for throughout week and shared his many years of knowledge and experience so students could improve their plans.


Week 10

Dr. Barton explaining the contents of our water test kits.

Week 10

Luke and Austin crossing a bridge as we walk to W. Shelly watershed in Robinson Forest.

Week 10

Me on the ridgetop near our first soil pit by the fire tower at Robinson Forest

Week 10

Luke and Maverick inspecting a white oak at Bent Mountain.

Week 10

Maggie, Parker, Trevor, and Sean inspecting their catch of macro invertebrates in kick nets at the Little Millseat stream site.

   

Week 10 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Daniel Root

The tenth week in the class started off in worry as extreme weather threatened our week at Camp Robinson. Flooding of the road into the camp finally receded by Monday morning and we were able to attend our class on forest soils and hydrology taught by Dr. Barton. The day began with a brief explanation of watersheds and the study of hydrology. Dr. Barton touched on the subjects of water quality, turbidity, temperature, and pH. He talked about the various tools and how each was measured. We then grabbed our gear and water test kits and headed out to Falling Rock to start our testing of multiple distinct watersheds (N. Shelly, W. Shelly, S. Shelly, Clemons Fork, and Buckhorn). Our fieldwork and data collected helped us understand the impacts that mining, logging, and adhering to proper best management practices (BMP’s) can have on our watersheds and the effects on the people downstream from them.

Tuesday started off with a brief discussion of the day’s tasks, regarding forest soils, before we boarded the vans and headed up to the fire tower.  At our first pit, we discovered the parent soil was residuum or that it had weathered and become soil in place without any additions. As we journeyed down in elevation, we discovered our second pit contained colluvium soil or that which has been deposited because of extreme terrain. At the bottom, we dug our last pit near a stream that contained alluvial soil which was the result of past flooding. Connecting the soil types with how and when they have been created aids in helping us determine both the types of trees that can be found in those areas as well as seeing the past land use and formation.

Tuesday ended with a journey to Bent Mountain in Pikeville, KY. At an inactive mountaintop mining removal site, we took data from a project that used the mining spoil to create plots from three different types of rock in an attempt to determine the best parent material in which to recover old mining sites. We measured both red and white oak size and number in grey sandstone, shale, mixed, and brown sandstone piles. The results were telling with brown sandstone being the most beneficial at recovering a mining site. This project gave us a first-hand look at mine reclamation operations and helps us to look not only at restoration but understanding the mineral content of the soil, how it affects growth, and thinking about what attributes will give the trees the best chance possible.

Wednesday was our final day out in the field. It was a cold rainy day but was beneficial to our research and data collection. Dr. Barton relayed that we were going to visit four distinct watershed types: a control stream, a logged stream, a mine valley fill stream, and a restored mine valley fill stream.  We measured water quality and macro-invertebrate populations as if we were conducting an EPA Rapid Bioassessment Protocol (RBP) study. Fun was had by all catching bugs and salamanders despite the weather. The final restoration site was amazing to visit. It was very exciting to see how they turned a barren valley fill into a thriving watershed stream. All the aspects of hydrology, aquatic habitat, and stream ecology were tied together in the act of engineering this site starting from nothing and helped us physically see all the topics we covered during the week come together. The data we collected that day and the report we generated are key in understanding how hydrology and stream ecology is an integral part of our practice as future foresters.


Week 9

Students admire a large hemlock tree while taking plot inventories in the Robinson Forest watershed.

Week 9

Flowers begin to bloom on the forest floor and around camp, as students enjoy the warming temperatures.

Week 9

Several students are traveling along the creek en route to begin their next plot sample.

Week 9

The views from the ridgeline along the watershed showcase the beauty of the Robinson Forest area.

   

Week 9 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Maggie Myers

This week, classes were held at Robinson Forest with Dr. Jacob Muller. The main objective of this week was to gain a deeper understanding of forestry related statistics and measurements. In order to do so, students began the week with a preliminary plot cruise in the main watershed near the cabins in Robinson Forest. The purpose of this cruise was to understand how forestry professionals determine the plot size and number for a given area of land that is to be evaluated. After the preliminary cruise was completed, students met with Dr. Muller to discuss the significance of the data gathered. This discussion also demonstrated the value of Microsoft Excel in relation to statistical analyses. In the following days, students split into four groups, each of which were tasked with taking 20 tenth acre fixed-radius plot samples. In these samples, students recorded various cruising data, such as DBH, tree species, merchantable height, and cull percentage from each individual plot. All of the information gathered by the four groups was then compiled into a large Excel sheet, which was used to create a timber cruise summary. This cruise summary, which served as the final assignment for this section, was intended to give the landowner information on the forest stand he or she has, so that it may be purchased in the future by a potentially interested mill operator. Overall, this course is crucial to the curriculum of a forestry student, given that it is a hands-on opportunity to perform plot samples before entering the workforce. When performing these samples, students are then given practice identifying species, calculating the financial value of a standing log, using compass and pacing, operating a GPS, and, of course, using Excel to perform statistical analyses! Much was covered in this week, all of which will undoubtedly be used time and time again in the future by each student.


Week 8

We began the week with reviewing measurements and calculations such as Board Foot Anomaly and sawing methods.

Week 8

Each student went out in the field to measure trees for dbh and to record species for a collective assignment.

Week 8

The recorded data for the class was put onto an Excel sheet to analyze species composition and size in different areas of Kentucky.

Week 8

Our findings presented that Eastern white pine was among the most popular species, ash and tulip poplar had higher counts of merchantable logs.

   

Week 8 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Shelby Jackson

This week classes were held online via Zoom with Dr. Jacob Muller. It was an excellent refresher of forest statistics and measurements that allowed the juniors to refamiliarize themselves with measurement formulas and procedures. In the mornings, we reviewed and practiced working with compass bearings and azimuths, slope angles, and collecting tree data. In the afternoons, we worked with Excel to create data sheets and discuss what we found with the data. As students were home in several different areas outside of Lexington, we were able to get a small yet valuable image on what species composition looked like in Kentucky and how that can change many times in one state. For example, eastern white pine was the most commonly found species in our data collection. This review was vital to us as continuing students, for many of us it had been over a year since we first learned forest statistics and those skills were beginning to fade. After Dr. Muller discussed each of these topics, we were tasked with going outside to practice various measurements and working with a compass independently. Afterwards, class was held to discuss our findings and to observe what we discovered and learned. We also studied real world uses of these measurements and how statistics may be different in other states as species and climate are different in every state. Learning to work with statistics under diverse circumstances with undoubtedly prove useful for all of us. We have the opportunity of learning from Dr. Muller for a second week and we are all extremely eager to work with him in person in the forest.


Week 7

Britney, Sean, Ethan, Mikey, and Chad Niman excitedly headed to the fire tower after flooding delays.

Week 7

Interior rot after fire scar allowed entry of fungal pathogen on chestnut oak (Quercus montana)

Week 7

Skidder extracting the chestnut oak log

Week 7

David Collett operating the Wood-Mizer with Chad Niman assessing the best way to cut the tree we harvested.

Week 7

Chad Niman explaining how to read and use a lumber board ruler.

Week 7

Sean skillfully working on his red oak end table.

Week 7

Maverick operating a drill press on the leg of a table at the Wood Utilization Center.

Week 7

Jim Spangler showing the parts of a chainsaw.

   

Week 7 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Maverick Jackson, Sean Howard, and Britney Hughes

After much anticipation, students convened at the Robinson Center for Appalachian Resource Sustainability. Throughout the week the class was split into two groups to meet social distancing guidelines for COVID-19. These groups alternated in working with forest operations and utilization on site and at the University of Kentucky’s Wood Utilization Center in Quicksand, KY.

Chad Niman took students to a ridge to grade the faces of a chestnut oak and observe use of proper tree felling techniques as shown by David Collett. While we were aware that the tree had fire damage, the scar allowed a fungal pathogen to rot more of the tree than anticipated showing how difficult and risky grading can be for parties involved.  To further simulate this, students were paired up as “buyers” and “sellers” after watching the Wood-Mizer use plain sawing to optimize wood yield. We used this scenario to understand different board qualities using a lumber grading stick and agree upon a fair price as influenced by the woods caliber.

Under the supervision of Bobby Ammerman who runs the Wood Utilization Center, students were able to build a table using red oak (Quercus rubra) from start to finish. Students used a variety of equipment including a ripper, crosscut, planer, sander, glue reel, moulder, and drill press in order to remove defects and make a usable product. In combination with log grading, getting involved with the wood utilization mill emphasized the translation between high quality lumber and high quality products that increase added value. Added value is essential for the wood industry when assessing the logistics of the wood market and where to allocate their resources, time, and effort.

Foresters must understand these concepts in order to make informed management decisions in silviculture to produce high quality lumber. Doing so in a sustainable manner will alleviate wood waste and provide ecological and economic benefits.

Jim Spangler showed students how to properly and safely use a chainsaw. We practiced different cutting methods including the most common open face cut as well as plunge cuts used for more specific situations. Dr. Stringer taught students responsible use of herbicides, application techniques, and the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE). We put this into practice using a method called “hack and squirt” and chainsaws to treat a stand where maple was interfering with desired oak and other high quality specimens. By using a hatchet to create an opening and squirting herbicide into the wound, these trees will die and release the oaks from competition and increase light levels. Chainsaws were used to remove stump sprouting trees and trees not able to be treated by hack and squirt. These methods are common and important silvicultural tools in forest stands and help foresters meet management objectives.


Week 6

Dr. Jeff Stringer explaining the importance of tree seedling assessment, planting techniques and root structures

Week 6

Charlie Saunders walking down the rows of seedlings at Morgan County Tree Nursery

Week 6

Nursery workers harvest seedlings whose roots have been lacerated by an undercutter.

   

Week 6 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Maverick Jackson, Sean Howard, and Britney Hughes

Due to extensive flooding in eastern Kentucky before what was supposed to be our first week at Robinson Forest, the first half of the week had to be cancelled. However, students were able to meet on Thursday with Dr. Jeff Stringer and manager Charles Saunders, to tour the Morgan County Tree Nursery operated by the Kentucky Division of Forestry near West Liberty, KY. Students observed how the nursery operates administratively and how seedlings are processed. Seedling tree assessment and planting techniques were covered in great detail as they are a complex network of factors affected by climate, weather, site quality and the specific needs of species biology. The knowledge of these variables are critical to the success of mortality of seedlings. The students were able to take this knowledge and practice planting white pine (Pinus strobus) and black oak (Quercus velutina) seedlings with the goal of preparing us to be able to perform or supervise a seedling plantation operation.


Week 5

The class observes a fallen red oak that the ice storm knocked over. Dr. Lhotka explains what this new gap in the canopy will do for the understory.

Week 5

Field semester students in TPC listening to Laurie Thomas and Doug McLaren present Project Learning Tree information and techniques used for teaching.

Week 5

Students sitting on a rock outcrop in Berea Forest eating lunch socially distanced.

Week 5

Students measure trees in a plot using a prism and a six-foot radius for regeneration sampling in Berea College Forest.

   

Week 5 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Ethan Givens

For the fifth week of spring semester (Feb 22-26) we continued silviculture class with Dr. John Lhotka at Berea College Forest on Monday. We made our way through the woods still coated in snow learning about the different site characteristics and how they can show signs of past disturbance. We were introduced to two different methods of measuring oak regeneration and how to apply the results to a stand evaluation.

On Tuesday, Laurie Thomas and Doug McLaren conducted a Project Learning Tree program at the Thomas Poe Cooper building. This program taught the students about Project Learning Tree which is a widely known and accredited program. This PLT training will allow us to teach the youth about forestry.

We were back in Berea College Forest Wednesday through Friday with Dr. John Lhotka visiting different sites with different silvicultural practices such as prescribed burning and patch clear-cuts along with others. We recorded data of the oak regeneration in the understory to see long and short-term effects of different silvicultural practices on oak regeneration. We also got to mark off a midstory removal and a shelterwood removal wood cut. What we learned this week helped us prepare for our careers in forestry by learning how to apply silviculture techniques in the field and how to record data to track the process of theses practices. We have also been certified to teach members of the community about forestry to hopefully expand the public’s knowledge and interest of forestry.


Week 4

Dr. Crocker shows students a tree that has had ongoing health issues but is still an important wildlife tree.

Week 4

Alexandra Blevins compares a healthy, well-pruned tulip poplar to those she finds in the woods.

Week 4

The wood pulp substrate and shiitake inoculant that Julie Beale prepared. Luke can't wait to see how his mushrooms look in 6 weeks!

Week 4

Alexandra Blevins brought in some insect specimens and daily tools she carries for students to look at.

   

Week 4 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Jacob Fogle

This week we continued with Introduction to Forest Health and Protection with Dr. Crocker. The back-to-back winter storms we experienced this week meant that most of the material would have to be covered in Zoom meetings. On Monday, we began looking into the different types of pathogens such as fungi, oomycetes, and bacteria and the types of tree diseases they can cause. Tree diseases often cause wood rot and vascular issues which can affect the economic value of a stand. Students gave virtual presentations about specific tree diseases such as laurel wilt disease, a relatively new disease in Kentucky, and Sudden Oak Death, a disease that presents a high risk to the state. Forestry students need to understand the impacts of diseases and potential threats as we will most likely be working to prevent and mitigate their effects in the future.

Towards the end of the week, students were able to return to the classroom. Dr. Crocker led the students around campus to assess some of the health conditions of the local trees. Students identified fungus, lichens, and a scarlet oak with heart rot that was home to some wildlife. In the classroom, Julie Beale, a university plant pathologist, taught about mushroom cultivation and provided us with the materials to grow some shiitake mushrooms for ourselves. We also met Alexandra Blevins,  Kentucky Division of Forestry, who spoke about their forest health program and took us around campus to compare the characteristics of healthy campus trees to what she often sees in the woods.


Week 3

My group working on finding the divide of forest types in the delineation exercise.

Week 3

Shelby, Britney, Sean, and Trevor working on triangulation and terrain association to find their location to start delineating the stand.

Week 3

A picture of me working on writing the silvicultural prescription for the 20-year-old clear cut.

Week 3

Roommates, Isaiah and Maverick, working on a prescription for a Virginia Pine from the week before.

   

Week 3 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Mikey Doud

Week 3 started on chilly Monday morning at Berea Forest continuing our work on silvicultural practices with Dr. John Lhotka. The focus of the day was to delineate a stand that was given to us. This exercise helped us work on multiple foundational skills foresters need like pacing, map and compass work, winter tree identification, as well as terrain association and forest type identification. The next exercise at Berea was to take inventory of a 20-year-old clear cut site delineated in the previous exercise. This activity also helped us master map and compass use and pacing. Additionally, we worked on our plotting, inventory, and measurement skills. These skills are critical for a forester as they allow the forester to obtain the composition of the stand. This will influence management strategies used. The final aspect of the day was homework we were given which was to write a silvicultural prescription for the clear cut. The objective of the prescription was to focus on the regeneration of oaks on the site.    

The next day of class was supposed to be at Berea Forest however the threat of inclement weather dictated an online class day. During this day we watched a few videos covering different topics such as the history of disturbances in Southern Appalachian forests, how to write silvicultural practices, fire in hardwood forests, site and species relationships, and oak silviculture. Learning about these topics is important to better understand management practice of southern forests and forest in Kentucky.   


Week 2

Dr. Lhotka giving a lecture on plant site relations on a bench formation in the hills of Berea Forest.

Week 2

Forestry students use compass and map skills to understand their position and surroundings.

Week 2

After a morning of strenuous hiking, forestry students were rewarded with a stunning view.

   

Week 2 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by Trevor Coots

Week 2 of the Spring Field Semester started off with a Zoom presentation introducing forest health by Dr. Ellen Crocker. The presentation was engaging with discussion over the definition of forest health and an introduction to some of subjective factors which make a forest healthy for example, structural diversity, site quality, presence of invasive species, any known pathogens, and more. We rounded off the class by learning about historic pathogens and other contributors to tree mortality.

The next day we continued talking about current forest health conditions and a small introduction to fungi. Later that day we split into two groups. One group started in the lab looking at fungi specimens under microscopes and the other group sat in a presentation from Dr. Tyler Dreaden on identifying forest health issues and how genetics may play a role.

Later that week we went to Berea Forest with Dr. Lhotka where we refreshed on our skills of triangulation while using a map and compass. We also hiked to several locations looking at different stages of forests from 10-20 years after a clear to mature forest. On these sites we made note of species that grew there and the relations they had with the site and surrounding species. We also took inventory of trees on a 15-20 year stand and compared the species composition to that before the clear cut. The next day we hiked to a previously burned spot by arson and discussed the effects of fire. We later looked a 15-20 year-old stand of Virginia pine where we took inventory and were tasked to develop a treatment plan.

This week was important and helped us prepare for a career by introducing us to current conditions in a forest health aspect, and given us field time to practice skills in taking inventory and writing prescriptions.


Week 1

Day one! The class is getting briefed and watched the clock until we hit the field.

Week 1

Luke prepares himself for the day ahead.

Week 1

Dr. John Lhotka explains what will be done throughout the day!

Week 1

Nick shows his excitement as Clarence and Dan measure a nearby tree.

   

Week 1 - Spring Field Semester 2021

by William Wittenbraker

The first week of the spring semester was filled with excitement as the returning Juniors prepared themselves to start the next chapter of their time here at the University of Kentucky. From the first day, you can tell that the students were ready to hit the field and apply what they have been learning over the last couple of years and showcase what they have learned. For the first week of the semester, the class got their equipment and went over this unusual semester's schedule, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. Once the initial briefings and equipment had been distributed, the students head to Berea to get a refresher on the basics of being a Forester; such as pace counting, measuring a tree's DBH and height. Thanks to Dr. John Lhotka and Dr. James Ringe, the class got a crash course on basic land navigation, which is extremely important for a future Forester to know. Technology is a wonderful thing to have, but batteries die, equipment breaks, and sometimes lose their GPS. It is essential to know how to read a map and use a compass to find themselves in the woods. We even got to spend a virtual day with other Universities at the annual KTSAF 2021 Winter Meeting, where various speaks addressed the current trends in the forestry field and where the University of Kentucky was victorious for the second year in a row in the Forestry Quiz bowl! While out in the field, it was cold and muddy, but even with masks on, you can see the smiles on everyone's face as they got ready to learn about their chosen profession.

How can we help? 

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