In early spring of 2008 the Land Trust began working to restore aspen stands at Indian Ford Meadow Preserve. Aspen groves provide unique wildlife habitat and are limited in their range, so the Preserve’s management plan calls for protection of these trees.
Aspen does best with a lot of light and limited competition for resources. Because our grove had a lot of encroaching juniper and numerous large, shading ponderosa pines, we remvoed the juniper and several large pines. Two of the pines were topped so they could become snags and provide much-needed homes for birds and other wildlife. All of the work was done in the winter on frozen ground to reduce soil compaction
Aspen also benefits from fencing that protects young shoots from deer and elk browse. We tried using electric fencing, but it wasn’t well suited to the site (too many branches fell on and severed the lines and too much vegetation grew up from below and shorted it out).
In 2010, we removed the electric fence and students from the U of O and Cascades Academy replaced it with small cages. These caged areas have become long term study plots that students return to each year to measure and compare the growth rates of caged vs uncaged saplings.
Read the Bend Bulletin article about the restoration project.