A Guide to Bottomland Hardwood Restoration
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY RESTON VA
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During the last century, a large amount of the original bottomland hardwood forest area in the United States has been lost, with losses greatest in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley and East Texas. With a holistic approach in mind, this manual describes methods to restore bottomland hardwoods in the lower Midwest, including the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley and the southeastern United States. Bottomland hardwoods in this guide include not only the hardwood species that predominate in most forested floodplains of the area but also the softwood species such as I baldcypress that often co-occur. General restoration planning considerations are discussed as well as more specific elements of bottomland hardwood restoration such as species selection, site preparation, direct seeding, planting of seedlings, and alternative options for revegetation. We recognize that most projects will probably fall more within the realm of reforestation or afforestation rather than a restoration, as some site preparation and the planting of seeds or trees may be the only actions taken. Practical information needed to restore an area is provided in the guide, and it is left up to the restorationist to decide how complete the restoration will be. Postplanting and monitoring considerations are also addressed. Restoration and management of existing forests are included because of the extensive areas of degraded natural forests in need of rehabilitation.