Indian Ford Meadow Aspen Restoration

About the aspen restoration project at the Land Trust's Indian Ford Meadow Preserve.

Aspens at Indian Ford Meadow Preserve. Photo: Byron Dudley.
Aspens at Indian Ford Meadow Preserve. Photo: Byron Dudley.

In 2008, the Land Trust began working to restore aspen stands at Indian Ford Meadow Preserve. Aspen groves provide unique wildlife habitat in Central Oregon and are limited in their range, so the protection of these trees is important.

Aspen does best with a lot of light and limited competition for resources. Because our aspen grove had a lot of encroaching juniper, as well as numerous large, shading ponderosa pines, we removed 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.

Aspens also benefit from fencing that protects young shoots from deer and elk browse. Over the years we have fenced these young shoots in so they could thrive. Fencing is then removed once the aspens are tall enough where browsing deer and elk no longer cause significant damage to them. Long term, we will continue to monitor these aspen groves to cage them as needed so they can flourish.