Planting Location: Little Big Econ State Forest, Seminole County, Florida
Project Description/Objective: Longleaf pine and slash pine will be hand planted at densities of 605 and 726 trees per acre. The site was prepared with an herbicide treatment and will be prescribed burned prior to planting.
Ecological Benefits: Many of the stands in the planting areas have no or an inadequate number of trees to facilitate natural regeneration. In additional to re-establishing the overstory in these areas, planting longleaf and slash pine will improve our ability to manage these stands with prescribed fire. Frequent fire will benefit the composition and structure of the stands and natural communities on the sites. Frequent fire will also improve the habitat for many native wildlife species found on the forest, including the endangered gopher tortoise, Sherman’s fox squirrel, bald eagle, white-tailed deer, and wild turkey, among others.
The forest buffers both the Econlockhatchee River and St. Johns River (the longest rover in Florida) and contributes to the protection of the wetlands and associated natural communities within the floodplains of these rivers.
Community Benefits: The ability to manage the project area with frequent fire will benefit the community by reducing the risk of wildfires. Additionally, reforestation will support the recreation program on the state forest, which includes hiking, cycling, horseback riding, nature study, etc. by improving both aesthetics and the user experience.
Types of Trees: Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) 83%, Slash pine (Pinus elliottii) 17%
Number of Trees Donated by Noble Oak: 15,000