University of Tennessee
Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center

News 2014

A selection of events held at the AgResearch Forest Resources Research and Education Center during the year. Read about past year's events at News Archives >>>

UT Arboretum Society Sponsors Lecture Series Programs

Yoder LectureDr. Daniel Yoder (top left), Professor, UT Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, talks about the proposed UT SMART Center site that will be built on the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center property.

Wyss LectureMr. Alex Wyss (top left), Director of Conservation Programs – TN Nature Conservancy, discusses the potential impacts of the Emerald Ash Borer on the Ash trees in Tennessee and the south’s forests.
(Photos courtesy of Mr. Charles Samuels, UTAS President)

The UT Arboretum Society sponsored two new lecture series events this past winter. Dr. Daniel Yoder, Professor, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science gave a presentation entitled "The SMART approach to stormwater management" on February 25th. The subject matter focused on general stormwater management issues and opportunities, and the proposed UT SMART Center site. The program was well received by the diverse group of 26 people who attended the event. Mr. Alex Wyss, Director of Conservation Programs – TN Nature Conservancy, gave a presentation entitled "Healthy Trees – Healthy Tennessee" on March 13th. The program focused on several invasive insect pests that are attacking the native forests of East Tennessee. 40 people attended the event.

2014 UTAS Father-Daughter Hike

UTAS Father-Daughter Hike 2014

Jeff Holt, Consulting Forester and UTAS Volunteer (left - green jacket), again led the annual Father-Daughter hike this year, which was held on Saturday, February 15, 2014. The event was co-sponsored by the UT Arboretum Society and the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. An overcast cold winter day, remnant snowfall, and muddy trails did not deter the family memories for 36 fathers and daughters in attendance. The hikers enjoyed a brisk 2+ hour walk along the Marsh Area, on the Crossroads Trail, the Lost Chestnut Trail, and the Oak Hickory Trail during the 3+ mile outing. At the end of the hike, the girls and dads in attendance received complimentary back packs and tote bags donated by East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

UT National Forensic Academy Training Session

National Forensic Academy Vehicle

National Forensic Academy Training

National Forensic Academy Training Session

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) hosted a contingent of law enforcement professionals in January 2014 as part of the UT National Forensic Academy’s (NFA) ongoing field training operations. The training exercises took place on the NFA’s field training site which is located on the FRREC property. This training site is a result of a unique UT partnership, finalized in September 2013, when the UT Institute of Agriculture and the UT Institute of Public Service entered into a long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for use of this permanent seven acre field site.

The NFA’s 10-week unique training program is administered through the University of Tennessee Law Enforcement Innovation Center in Oak Ridge, TN and is funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Over 30 law enforcement professionals from around the country were in attendance for the training event which focused on mock crime scene investigation, the use of cadaver dogs, ground penetrating radar, grave subsidence, and probing exercise to locate clandestine graves.

A Place for All Seasons

Snow in the Elmore Holly Garden "No winter lasts forever; no spring skips its turn." ~Hal Borland, nature journalist and author

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center and Arboretum remains a place “for all seasons”, and wintertime definitely provides a quiet time to enjoy the tranquility of the Arboretum, especially when we have snow on the ground. The recent snow certainly did not deter visitors to the arboretum, despite the hazardous road conditions and slippery trail system. We hope that people will remember the Arboretum during future snow events as a destination for a quiet walk or great photo opportunity!

Richard Evans Receives Tennessee Forestry Association Award

Preparing the area for the wetland installation Richard Evans (right) is presented the Tennessee Forestry Association (TFA) “Forest Resources Award” by Candace Dinwiddie, Executive Director of TFA.

Richard Evans, former Director of the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center, was honored with the Tennessee Forest Resources Award by the Tennessee Forestry Association (TFA) at their regional meeting in Knoxville, TN on January 23rd, 2014. The “Tennessee Forest Resources Award” is presented annually to a person making a recognized contribution to forestry in Tennessee, not necessarily through TFA activities. Richard's award recognition was partly for his life-long service to the profession of forestry throughout the state of Tennessee, his past service to TFA as a life-long member, and his past leadership position as the East Tennessee Vice President of the organization. We are very proud of Richard’s life-long accomplishments and wish him well in his ongoing retirement from the Center.

Harold Elmore Holly Collection "Happenings"

Preparing the area for the wetland installation Ms. Fran Scheidt (center – orange jacket) and Dr. Will Witte (right – white jacket) lead a group of attendees on a tour of the Elmore Holly Collection.(Photo courtesy of Mr. Charles Samuels)

The UT Arboretum Society - Holly Task Force held their annual fall work day on Saturday November 9th, 2013. Ms. Fran Scheidt and Dr. Will Witte, Holly Task Force members, coordinated the event. The work day included a tour of the Elmore Holly Collection, holly plant care demonstrations (pruning, planting, mulching, and irrigation), and the planting of seven new hollies into the collection. Refreshments and information handouts were also available for the 19 people who participated in the event. This year the work day was symbolically titled “Holly Fest” which the task force hopes to expand and grow into an annual holiday event.

The prepared wetland area Mr. Carmen Gianforte (left) receives the prestigious Wolf-Fenton Award at the annual meeting of the Holly Society of America.(Photo courtesy of Mr. Carmen Gianforte)

In a related event, Mr. Carmen Gianforte, Holly Task Force member, was recently recognized with the prestigious Holly Society of America – Wolf Fenton Award. This award is given annually to an individual for outstanding contributions and dedicated service in the field of holly. Mr. Gianforte is known within the Holly Task Force as the guy who propagates baby hollies to help perpetuate the UT Arboretum collection. He also has the boyhood nickname as the guy with the “holly green thumb”.

Finally, the Farm Bureau Insurance company sent a photographer out to the Arboretum on Friday, January 24th, 2014 for a photo session focused on the Harold Elmore Holly Collection. The session will ultimately become a holiday feature story in the 2014 fall/winter edition of the company's “Tennessee Home and Farm” magazine edition. This will provide great exposure for the collection and the Arboretum, hopefully bringing out more visitors and guests during the 2014 holiday season.

Highland Rim Forest Conducts Controlled Burn Training Exercise

Highland Rim Forest Control Burn

Highland Rim Forest Control Burn

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center - Highland Rim Forest Unit in Tullahoma, TN conducted a controlled burn training exercise on November 4, 2013 with the Tennessee Division of Forestry (TDF) and students from the UT Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries (FWF). The annual prescribed burn is a focused field exercise aimed at enhancing wildlife habitat, while reducing downed woody fuel loading on the unit's forestland property. It also provides a cooperative field training exercise for TDF personnel and students from the FWF forest fire management class of Associate Professor Jennifer Franklin and Assistant Professor Emma Willcox.

University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: