Our longleaf savanna experiment at Freeman, Virginia

My friend Adam Smith just sent some pictures of our Freeman place. We are experimenting with longleaf pine restoration. To do this, we thinned all the trees to 50 basal area and then made 1/4 acre clearings in each acre. We are planting in  longleaf, creating an uneven aged stand.

It would be too much to say that it is based on the Stoddard-Neel approach – we cannot do that in Virginia at this time – but that was my inspiration. We will try to create the pine grassland ecosystem, once common in Virginia.

Philosophy of  Stoddard-Neel
Rather than a formal silvicultural system, the SNA is as much a philosophy of how a forest ecosystem — in its entirety — should be managed and nurtured while still deriving economic benefit. Inherent in a landowner or manager’s decision to practice ecological forestry is a strong land ethic and an appreciation of the multiple values of the forest ecosystem.

Logger Kathryn-Kirk McAden did a good job, as you see in the photo. I understand that the request was unusual.

Mike Raney and the hunt club might be interested to see what they are walking across.