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South Carolina 2022 - Longleaf Restoration

Planting Location: Mary Deese Road, Chesterfield, SC

Project Description/Objective: This project will be focused on converting a cutover forested site to a longleaf forest. The overall goal for the landowner is to eventually convert 500 acres of loblolly/slash pine stands to longleaf. Site prep is happening now on this 64.3 acre stand to ensure the highest survival for seedlings. Longleaf plug seedlings will be planted in February 2022 at a density of 544 trees per acre. Seedlings will be monitoring at the end of the first growing season and at the end of the third growing season to determine the percent survival of the stand. Fire will be introduced to the site prior to the final monitoring.

Ecological Benefits: The longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) was once the dominant tree species in the southeastern US, covering over 90 million acres from Virginia to Texas. Over thelast 400 years, this species abundance has decreased due to non-sustainable timber harvest, clearing of land for agriculture and development, and exclusion of fire. This project will promote restorative management practices centered on longleaf restoration in a historically abused ecosystem type. The longleaf pine ecosystem is well-known for the incredible diversity of plant and animal species that it supports, many of which are endemic only to this habitat. The trees are the centerpiece of the system and establishing the trees is the beginning of the restoration process. By restoring and managing this site, the landowners will be providing essential habitat for not only our common species but potentially for rare species like the red-cockaded woodpecker. This project will improve habitat through ground cover restoration and fire on a site within 1.1 miles of both the Sandhills State Forest and Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge.

Community Benefits:In addition to wildlife and ecological benefits, restoring longleaf pine forests can also provide ecosystem services that provide benefits to communities that are embedded within and adjacent to these forest types. By using prescribed fire as a management tool, the risk of wildfire that can be catastrophic to towns and communities is much reduced. Healthy forests are important for protecting source water quality that will affect city water supplies.

Types of Trees: Pinus palustris (Longleaf Pine)

Number of Trees Donated by Noble Oak: 10,000

This project will be focused on converting a cutover forested site to a longleaf forest.

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