January - October 2015

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

2015 Owl Prowl

UT Arboretum Society Hosts Another Successful Owl Prowl

The UT Arboretum Society hosted another successful "Owl Prowl" on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Katie CottrellKathy Strunk, and Kris Brantley from the Clinch River Raptor Center led an engaging question and answer session, complete with a couple of their live screech owls and Barred Owl. The program activities ended with three concurrent night hikes - led by Katie Cottrell, Kathy Strunk, and John Byrd - for the annual "prowl" on the Arboretum grounds in hopes of hearing the calls of the Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center's resident owl population. The event was attended by over 100 people despite the competition with the televised UT-Alabama Football Game.

Photo: Katie Cottrell and Chris Brantley entertain the Owl Prowl audience with an up close personal handling of the Barred Owl from the Clinch River Raptor Center.

Wayne Clatterbuck
David Mercker
Pat Keyser
Michael McCord

“Woods and Wildlife” Field Day - October 16, 2015

A beautiful October fall day provided the backdrop for the 2015 UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center – “Woods and Wildlife” field day held on the Highland Rim Forest near Tullahoma, TN. The event focused on Shortleaf pine reforestation, hardwood management, Bobwhite quail habitat management, and deer & turkey management. Over 50 family forest landowners, natural resource professionals, and other University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) personnel attended the event this year.

From Top:
Dr. Wayne Clatterbuck (center – green shirt) discusses mixed pine- hardwood stand management as related to Shortleaf pine reforestation possibilities.

Dr. David Mercker (center – orange vest) discusses hardwood forest stand management issues and opportunities with the Woods and Wildlife Field Day attendees.

Dr. Pat Keyser (center – green jacket) discusses Bobwhite quail habitat management techniques at the Woods and Wildlife Field Day event.

Mr. Michael McCord (center – tan shirt) discusses deer and turkey management as related to small woodlot forestry operations.

Joshua Cottrell and Team
Joshua Cottrell's Project In Progress
Final Construction

Boy Scout Troop 129 Completes Eagle Scout Stair/Bridge Project

Throughout late September and early October, volunteers from local Boy Scout Troop 129 constructed an exit platform/staircase on the Arboretum marsh area bridge that was built in 2014. The project has provided a much-needed throughway from a gravel road bed to the marsh area plant collection and associated riparian zone. Joshua Cottrell, Eagle Scout candidate, Senior at Hardin Valley Academy, and aspiring computer software developer provided the leadership and safety direction for his team during the project. A contingent of over 15 scouts, friends, and parents turned out over multiple workdays to help Joshua with this extremely important project.

Left: Joshua Cottrell (center–yellow shirt/safety glasses) leads a discussion with his team about the safety aspects of his Eagle Scout project.

Center Left: Joshua Cottrell’s Eagle Scout project “In progress”.

Bottom Left: Final construction of Joshua Cottrell’s Eagle Scout project.

Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Meeting

UT FRREC Hosts Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce Breakfast

Beautiful fall weather greeted Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce members at the “Rise and Shine” Breakfast Meeting held at the new UT Arboretum Auditorium on Tuesday October 6th. A crowd of over 50 people were on hand to hear Dr. Kevin Hoyt, (far left) discuss how the new auditorium will enhance the research and educational outreach programs of the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center. Dr. Bill Brown, Dean of UT AgResearch (not pictured) anchored the event with an overview of UT AgResearch programs and what the positive impact of agriculture is on the Tennessee economy.

Photo Courtesy of Charles Samuels

Urban Forestry Lecture
Kasey Krouse

Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center Co-hosts Urban Forestry Lecture

The Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) co-hosted an Urban Forestry lecture sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society on August 25th, 2015. Kasey Krouse, Knoxville Urban Forester, gave an overview presentation on the Knoxville urban tree care program. Discussion topics focused on proper pruning, planting, mulching, tree selection, and other arboriculture practices that are pertinent to an urban forestry program. The lecture also included an interactive walk that looked at trees near the Arboretum program shelter and some of the issues affecting trees in an urban forest. Over 35 people attended the event.

Left: Kasey Krouse, City of Knoxville Urban Forester (center – green shirt) engages the attendees at the UT Arboretum Urban Forestry lecture.

Lower Left: Kasey Krouse, City of Knoxville Urban Forester (center – green shirt) discusses urban tree care safety-related issues with attendees.

UTAS Geocaching Workshop 2015

UT Arboretum Society Hosts GEOcaching Workshop for Students

The University of Tennessee Arboretum Society (UTAS) sponsored an Introduction to GEOcaching Workshop at the UT Arboretum for twelve rising fifth through eighth grade students on July 28, 2015. The students were taught the basics of using a GPS device, determining location, inputting waypoints, following a short course, and finding caches hidden by others.  The Arboretum Society provided the GPS devices for the class to use, and Ms. Janet Bigelow, a UTAS board member, taught the workshop with help from other UTAS members. Janet is a semi-retired middle school teacher with over 41 years of indoor and outdoor classroom experience.

Left: Ms. Janet Bigelow, Semi-retired teacher (right – black shirt), instructs students on the basics of GPS field navigation. Photo by Charles Samuels.

Land Use Tour Topo Maps Talk
Land Use Tour Sinkholes Talk

UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center Co-hosts Land Use Tour

The Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) co-hosted a land use tour sponsored by the East Tennessee Development District (ETDD) and the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation on July 30th, 2015. The land use tour was focused on topographical map interpretation, soils, sinkholes, and water resources as related to land use and development in the East Tennessee region. Van transportation was provided by the East Tennessee Human Resources Agency which was used to shuttle the participants between the 20-minute tour stops located throughout the east side of the UT Arboretum. Over 50 county commissioners and natural resource professionals attended the event.

Left: Mr. Ryan Hodges, UT Biosystems & Soil Science Graduate Student (right - green shirt) discusses the uses of topo maps with the Land Use Field Tour participants.

Left: Mr.Pete Lemiszki, Geologist (right – black shirt), discusses the potential impacts and hazards of developing land in or near sinkholes or on Karst soils.

Cumberland Forest Landowners Meeting 2015

Cumberland Forest Hosts Morgan County Landowners Meeting

Members of the Morgan County Forestry Development Association (MCFDA), shown at left, were hosted by the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center - Cumberland Forest on June 18. Martin Schubert, Forest Manager, and David Clabo, PhD Candidate, reported on the status of shortleaf pine in the southeast and ongoing research being conducted by UT to conserve this species.  Sixteen landowners and natural resource professionals were in attendance at the Stephens Orchard near some of the research in progress.  Of particular emphasis are methods to establish and regenerate mixed shortleaf pine-oak stands on private lands of the Cumberland Plateau and Mountains.  This forest type has been in decline for several decades and is associated with other species of concern such as big bluestem and Bobwhite quail. Jason O’Shell, Area Forester with the Tennessee Division of Forestry also discussed some cost-share options available for landowners as well as seedlings available through the state nursery.

New Framework for the Comparative Study Project
Frame Work Construction for the Comparative Study Project

FRREC Crew Breaks Ground on New Bird Aviary Project

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center – Oak Ridge Forest crew broke ground in May on the first of two new bird aviaries. The two new aviaries being built are part of long term “call complexity” study by Dr. Todd Freeberg, UT Dept. of Psychology, focusing on captive flocks of chickadees and titmice captured on the Oak Ridge Forest landbase. The two new aviaries will provide additional study replications to the four other aviaries previously constructed on the Oak Ridge Forest. Funding for the study was secured through a prestigious National Science Foundation grant, which is paying for supplies and resources to construct the two new aviaries. Read more about Dr. Freeberg's Comparative Communications Study >>>

Left: FRREC crew begins the process of inclosing the aviary by attaching wire cloth to the wood frame.

Tennessee Healthy Hardwoods-David Mercker
Tennessee Healthy Hardwoods Woodmizer Demonstration

Healthy Hardwoods 10th Anniversary Field Day at the Highland Rim Forest

A beautiful spring day emerged from an early morning rain storm, providing the near perfect setting for the UT Extension/Tennessee Division of Forestry 10th Anniversary "Healthy Hardwoods" field day. The event was co-hosted by the Tennessee Forestry Association, and held at the Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center - Highland Rim Forest near Tullahoma, TN on Saturday April 25, 2015. Dr. David Mercker, UT Extension Forester, led the program which focused on "Do-it-Yourself-Forestry, featuring a portable sawmill demonstration, chainsaw safety, ATV log skidding, tree planting and timber inventory practices. Over 80 people attended the event, represented by family forest landowners, professional foresters, and University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) personnel. Mr. Tony Garner, Forest Manager Assistant (not shown), helped coordinate the unit grounds preparation, associated vendor deliveries, and program logistics.

Left: Dr. David Mercker, UT Extension Forester (orange hat and vest), leads a discussion on timber form and quality as it relates to timber inventory and appraisal.

Lower Left: Mr. Tim Horsley, Customer Service rep, Woodmizer Products, LLC. (Black hat and shirt -center), demonstrates the use of their LT35 portable sawmill during the Healthy Hardwoods Field Day.

FRREC White Oak Reforestation Project
FRREC White Oak Reforestation Project Site

White Oak Reforestation Project Established at Arboretum

The UT Forest Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) has recently provided two research plot areas for a White Oak reforestation project on the back of the Arboretum. The project site can be viewed along the Backwoods Trail in the Forest Resources Research, Conservation & Demonstration area. The project is a research partnership between UT Department of Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries (FWF) – Tree Improvement Program and the US Forest Service (USFS) – Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management Research Work Unit, Southern Research Station. The long-term project objectives are to study various methods of artificial oak regeneration using genetically improved nursery seedling stock. The project study site was harvested and cleared by the FRREC crew this past fall and the White Oak seedlings were planted by FWF, USFS and FRREC field staff this past March. The project is being led by Dr. Stacy Clark, Research Forester, USFS, and Dr. Scott Schlarbaum, Professor of Forest Genetics and UT FWF Tree Improvement Project Leader.

Left: John Johnson, USFS Technician (center), prepares White Oak seedlings for planting on the new White Oak reforestation research project site.

Lower Left: White Oak Reforestation project site along the UT Arboretum Backwoods Trail.

Photos courtesy of Charles Samuels.

Father-Daughter Hike 2015

2015 UTAS Father-Daughter Hike

Jeff Holt, Consulting Forester and UTAS Volunteer (right – blue jacket) led the 6th annual Father-Daughter hike held on Saturday, February 14. The event was co-sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society and the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. An extremely cold winter day did not deter the Valentine’s Day memories that were made for the 38 fathers and daughters who were in attendance. The hikers enjoyed a brisk 1+ hour walk along the Oak-Hickory Trail, Lost Chestnut Trail, Cross Roads Trail, and Backwoods Trail before returning to the Arboretum for hot chocolate and snacks.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Jernigan.

UTAS/FRREC Parade Float Volunteers 2014
UTAS/FRREC Parade Float 2014

2015 UTAS New Years Day Hike

The UT Arboretum Society (UTAS) hosted the first annual “New Years Day Hike” at the UT arboretum on Thursday January 1st, 2015. The event started out at the UT Arboretum Visitors Center at 9:30 am for a “meet and greet” with UTAS members that included free coffee, hot chocolate and assorted snacks. At 10 am the attendees left the visitors center for a group hike led by Mr. Charles Samuels, immediate past president - UTAS, up the White Pine Trail to the North Forest Loop Trail culminating at the Elmore Holly Collection. Once there, Mr. Dennis Superczynski, Holly Task Force Chairman, gave an overview of the collection, allowing the participants a chance to learn about the collection and see the hollies covered with winter berries. The cold winter day did not deter the attendance and the “family and friends memories” that were made by the 100+ people in attendance.

Left: Over 100 people attended the first annual “New Years Day Hike” at the UT Arboretum on Thursday January 1st, 2015.

Lower Left: Dennis Superczynski (lower left – green jacket) gives an overview of the UT Harold Elmore Holly Collection to the attendees during the New Years Day Hike.

Photos courtesy of Charles Samuels.