Clear Cuts

Approximately 25.6 non-continuous acres

Summary Assessment
Upland clear cut areas were logged between 2013 and 2015. Naturally regenerating woody growth includes stump sprouts, native tree seedlings, and some native shrubs. Native sedges, rushes, and warm season grasses constitute much of groundlayer vegetation, with occasional remnant native ferns and woodland wildflowers. The size and vigor of some native herbaceous vegetation suggest some species may have been present prior to clear cutting. Throughout the clear cuts, deer browse is significant, particularly on American Holly (Ilex opaca) stump sprouts and on certain forbs.

Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), a native clonal tree species that can quickly monopolize disturbed areas, occurs in large patches in the western clear cut. The size of saplings there suggest this area was logged first.

Invasive exotic herbaceous vegetation is found in patches throughout clear cut areas, with the annual Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) most abundant and the annual Small Basketgrass (Arthraxon hispidus) present to a lesser extent. Although it could not be positively identified on LWLA site visits, what is believed to be Chinese Lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata), an exotic forb, has a scattered to moderate presence.* Several small, relatively isolated patches of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), another pernicious exotic forb, were observed in the central and western clear cuts.

Large expanses of woody debris remain from the recent logging, in some cases in swathes nearly devoid of emergent vegetation. Large log piles can also be found throughout, sometimes in visually prominent locations. Damaged "bumper" trees in clear cut areas may prove safety hazards near circulation routes.

*Chinese Lespedeza is distinguished from the look-alike native Slender Lespedeza (Lespedeza virginica) at flowering time, which has not coincided with LWLA site visits. Based on local invasive species populations and the Lynn Farm's disturbance history, however, the Lespedeza observed is believed to be Lespedeza cuneata.
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Central Clear Cut, June 2016. A small patch of exotic invasive Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) grows amidst woody debris and native warm season grasses. Controlling invasive exotics like Mugwort is easiest and most effective when the infestation is still small and isolated. Mugwort could have been introduced through propagules in soil possibly introduced by logging equipment.
Western Clear Cut, June 2016. Herbaceous growth in clear
cut areas is being colonized by Black Locust, a vigorous native
clonal tree species (highlighted in the photo above).
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Western Clear Cut, June 2016. Log piles and large expanses
of woody debris were left from logging. Herbaceous
vegetation has colonized the shallower deposits of woody
debris while deeper deposits are spotty with regrowth.
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Western Clear Cut, June 2016. Damaged "bumper" trees,
if located near eventual circuation routes, may need to be
assessed as safety hazards.

Restoration & Management Implications
• Addressing Black Locust and herbaceous problem weeds will be important to ensuring this vegetation does not reduce habitat quality over time. Where broadcast weed control targets these species with the intent of managing for grassland, shrubland, or woodland habitat, seeding and/or planting may be necessary in the event existing vegetation cannot colonize the treated area adequately.
• Woody debris deposits should ideally remain on site as a nutrient resource but should be consolidated and stockpiled as these deposits are inhibiting vegetation regeneration. Log piles, which constitute a nutrient resource as well as habitat
for invertebrates and small mammals, could be removed from visually prominent areas and used elsewhere on site.
• Damaged "bumper" trees at risk of mortality and dead fall may need to be assessed for safety if located near pathways and/or gathering areas.