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Purdue Professor Using "Prescribed Burns" To Protect Indiana's Oak Trees

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Michael Saunders
/
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

A Purdue researcher is leading two projects designed to foster the regeneration of oak forests and improve wildlife habitat by burning smaller trees and other inhibiting plants.

Associate professor of forestry Michael Saunders Saunders led two prescribed burns in 80 acres of the 63,000-acre oak forest at Naval Support Installation Crane in southwest Indiana this fall in a project funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Navy.

Similar events are also planned for the spring and fall of 2015 and in the spring of 2016 in the Yellowwood and Morgan Monroe State Forests in the Bloomington area under a grant from the Indiana Division of Forestry.

Saunders says oak is "the driver of the timber industry in Indiana," and it's important to ensure the survival of these trees.