Timber stand improvement at Oakwood Bottoms

America’s Big Six Focal Region: Crossroads

Focal Landscape: Shawnee Hills

Location: Shawnee National Forest — Oakwood Bottoms (Grand Tower, Illinois)

Cost estimate of completed project: $134,902.16; NWTF contribution: $30,624.27      

Overview: This 488-acre project was completed in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service through a stewardship agreement signed in 2018. All tree species directly competing with oaks, hickory, persimmon and bald cypress were removed within the timber stand improvement boundaries at Oakwood Bottoms (an Audubon-classified Important Bird Area) in southern Illinois. The improvement was finished in mid-December. Eighteen acres of garlic mustard are scheduled for foliar spray treatment.

Description of work:

  • Crop tree release (increases growing space of selected trees by removing adjacent, competing trees or their crowns)
  • Pre-commercial thinning of timber stand
  • Cut-stump herbicide treatment                                              

Species targeted: wild turkey, white-tailed deer, waterfowl; other wildlife potentially benefitting include yellow-crowned night heron, Mississippi kite, Louisiana waterthrush, prairie warbler, plus neotropical shorebirds

Partners: USDA Forest Service; Shawnee National Forest

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