Virtual forestry field days

By Billy Beck–Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

Learn about forestry management and tree farming from your own home.

AMES, Iowa – Virtual forestry days continued to be offered online this fall.

On Oct. 20, the Yellow River State Forest Virtual Field Day, in northeast Iowa, taught about forest resiliency.

Billy Beck, assistant professor and extension forestry specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, said the focus was on the many ways to make forests more resilient – to storms, invasive species, and the changing climate.

“Our forests and trees have seen a lot this year,” Beck said. “During this event, we will focus on how we can make our forests more resilient to climate change, emerging invasive threats, and also storm damage.”

Beck discussed management options for storm damage; Miranda Curzon, assistant professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Iowa State, talked about climate-adaptive silviculture; Bruce Blair, area forester, discussed adaptive oak regeneration and management; Trent Stuchel, forestry specialist with the Wildlife Management Institute and IDNR, discussed tree planting; and there were also presentations on the current timber market and the Iowa Tree Farm Program.

A second field day on Oct. 29, was known as Touring Iowa’s Forests. Working with Iowa Learning Farms, Beck joined a host of presenters for a live conversation at 1 p.m., centered on the common forest types found in Iowa and the value they bring to the landscape.

“There is often confusion of what management needs to maintain a vibrant forest that provides great value to the landowner,” said Beck. “This field day explored options for managing a variety of forest types found in Iowa to help landowners identify strategies for doing so on their property.”

Beck presented “Floodplain Forests, Upland Forests.” Riggs Wilson, forestry specialist with the Wildlife Management Institute and Iowa Department of Natural Resources, presented “Oak savannas,” and Joe Herring, district forester with IDNR presented “How to identify the management needs of your forest.”

The forestry events can also be viewed in the online forestry page archive: