Monitoring Your Regenerating Forest
Witness your forest as it grows and changes, especially after completing a forest treatment.
Through regeneration monitoring you can learn about the overall health and vigor of your forest’s understory, including trees, grasses and other plants. Some trees are well-adapted to live under the shade of larger trees (e.g. spruce and fir), while others prefer openings for sunlight and nutrients (e.g. aspen and pines). Local site conditions also affect how well seeds can germinate and set the stage for the next forest.
Regeneration monitoring does not necessarily need to be an in-depth assessment of your forest’s understory. The measurements can be quick and simple. It can be as easy as taking photographs of regeneration or simply counting seedlings or saplings. Photo points are most effective when collected at the same locations during the same time of year. Tallying the quantity, size and species of trees can provide a basis to evaluate the impacts of forestry activities on your land.
Once the initial information is collected, routine and intermittent monitoring will illustrate how resilient your forest is. In the interest of resource efficiencies, your local CSFS district forester or other professional forester is available to recommend the most appropriate frequency, time of year and sampling design. Just as with photo points, location can be a factor affecting the quality of information collected during your regeneration monitoring.
While it is not mandatory protocol, tracking how your forest responds especially following an extensive forest treatment is encouraged. Work with your local forester to develop an appropriate regeneration monitoring sampling design for your specific forest type. The CSFS Granby District recommends the following model to be adopted when monitoring regeneration after harvesting lodgepole pine with an overstory removal or clearcut prescription.
Photo courtesy of CSFS
Regeneration Monitoring Standards (CSFS Granby District Model):
- Set up an appropriate quantity of 1/100th-acre, fixed-area plots, which have an 11.8-foot radius.
- Count all seedlings.
- Count all saplings.
- Analyze data with Forest Vegetation Simulator or another simulation model.
- Record any insect and disease signs, symptoms or activity you observe during your survey.
- Minimum plots for stand = 3
- Set up more plots for larger stands to collect adequate data. The more data gathered, the more accurate the monitoring.
- Use random sampling to mitigate bias.
As a result of your routine monitoring efforts, you will not only see the difference, but you will know more about the extent of how much your forest has changed.