January - May 2016

A selection of events held at the Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center during the year.

Aviary Construction 2016
The Aviary Frame

FRREC Crew Breaks Ground on a New Bird Aviary

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center – Oak Ridge Forest crew broke ground in May on the second of two new bird aviaries. The two new aviaries being built are part of long term National Science Foundation (NSF) “call complexity” study grant by Dr. Todd Freeberg, UT Dept. of Psychology, focusing on captive flocks of chickadees and titmice from the Oak Ridge Forest landbase. The two new aviaries will provide additional study replications to the four existing aviaries previously constructed on the Oak Ridge Forest. The NSF funding is paying for expenses related to supplies, resources, and labor to construct the two new aviaries. Read more about Dr. Freeberg's  Comparative Communications Study.

Left: Yvonne Hitchcock (left) and Bo Duncan secure the upright posts with concrete for the foundation of the new bird aviary.

Loading the 'Big Logs'
Hauling the 'Big Logs'

FRREC harvests and hauls "BIG LOGS" from Arboretum storm damage

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) - Oak Ridge Forest staff recently utilized the Kubota tractor and International Harvester truck to harvest/haul a load of "BIG LOGS" from several downed trees in the Arboretum. The operation provided a source of revenue for the Center, an opportunity for staff to hone their logging skills, and a chance to deploy our small woodlot logging equipment.

FRREC Bioenergy Tour

UT FRREC Hosts ORNL “Bioenergy in the SE United States” Field Tour

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) hosted a large contingent of bioenergy scientists, researchers, and professionals at the Oak Ridge Forest Unit on Monday April 11th, 2016. The field tour, coordinated by ORNL, was focused on potential woody bioenergy feedstock supply opportunities from conventional timber management/harvesting operations. The 60+ attendees were provided a “rolling stock” bus tour of various FRREC research projects, before culminating at a recently completed timber harvest area where the group discussed issues and opportunities of securing woody bioenergy feedstock from both native hardwood forests and pine plantations. The group returned to ORNL for an afternoon symposium on woody bioenergy feedstock production, harvesting, utilization, and public policy related topics.

Left: Dr. Kevin Hoyt, Director (left-black jacket), discusses the details of a recent timber harvest on the FRREC-Oak Ridge Forest, and the potential tie-in with bioenergy woody feedstock production.


Photo courtesy of Carlos Jones.

Virginia Pine Before and After

Photo Above: Before and after pictures of the 60+ year old Virginia pine that was cut down within the UT Arboretum grounds.

60+ Year-old Virginia Pine Taken Down in the Arboretum

Samuel Peyton Climbing Virginia Pine On April 4th, 2016, a 60+ year old Virginia pine was taken down within the UT Arboretum grounds, due to a fatal lightning strike that killed the tree this past fall. Mr. Samuel Peyton, UT Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries - Urban Forestry program senior, donated his services to help safely take the tree down using professional arborist skills and equipment. Dr. Kevin Hoyt, Director, UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center, and Mr. Bo Duncan, Equipment Operator, assisted with on-the-ground safety watch and woody debris cleanup operations. The main log of the tree will be sawed into rough cut lumber and used on a future FRREC construction project.

Photo Left: Mr. Samuel Peyton (center – orange) scales the 60+ year old Virginia pine cutting off branches as he works towards the top of the tree crown for final cutting and removal.

Martin Schubert
Martin Schubert and David Clabo

Cumberland Forest Conducts Prescribed Burns

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center – Cumberland Forest Unit in Morgan County conducted a series of controlled burns this past March as part of the Shortleaf Pine reforestation project. The objectives of this long-term project are to demonstrate examples of site preparation practices used to establish Shortleaf pine-hardwood mixtures on areas of the Cumberland Plateau that historically supported these forest types. Prescribed burning was one of the treatments used during the study to assess the sprouting ability of Shortleaf pine after the initial establishment of the young seedlings through a commercial tree planting operation conducted during the spring of 2015. The project is being conducted by Dr. Wayne Clatterbuck, Professor – UT Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries (FWF), and Mr. David Clabo, PhD candidate – UT-FWF. Mr. Martin Schubert, Manager, UT Cumberland Forest, took the lead in securing the project study site, coordinating the timber harvest of the site prior to Shortleaf pine planting, and overseeing the series of prescribed burn treatments.

Photo Top Left: Mr. Martin Schubert, Cumberland Forest Manager, oversees the fire behavior of the prescribed burn on the Shortleaf Pine research/demo project.

Photo Bottom Left: Mr. Martin Schubert, Cumberland Forest Manager (right), applies fire to the project area with a drip torch, as David Clabo, PhD Candidate, tends to the prescribed fire control line.

Father-Daughter Hike 2016

2016 UTAS Father-Daughter Hike

Jeff Holt, Consulting Forester and UTAS Volunteer (far right – blue jacket) led the 7th annual Father-Daughter hike held on Saturday, February 20. The event was co-sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society and the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. A mild winter day brought out the “dads and daughters” in droves for the event. The 80 attendees were split into two groups, one led by Jeff Holt on the South Forest Loop Trail area, and the other led by Kevin Hoyt, FRREC Director, on the Tulip Poplar/Heath Cove trails. The hikers enjoyed their brisk 1+ hour walk before returning to the Auditorium for fellowship, orange juice, coffee and snacks.

Photo courtesy of Janet Bigelow.

New year's Day Hike 2016

Second Annual UTAS New Year's Day Hike

The UT Arboretum Society (UTAS) hosted the second annual “New Year's Day Hike” on Friday January 1st, 2016. The event started out in the new Arboretum Auditorium at 9:30 am for a “meet and greet” with UTAS members and FRREC staff, which included free coffee, hot chocolate and assorted snacks. At about 10 am the attendees left the visitors center for several group hikes that included the Oak-Hickory Trail, the Heath Cove Trail, and the Tulip Poplar Trail. The cold winter day did not decrease the enthusiasm of the 82 people in attendance.

Left: The “New Years Day Hike” attendees getting ready to embark on the Tulip Poplar Trail hike.


Photo courtesy of Janet Bigelow.