Restoring native forests and wildlife habitat on coal mined lands in the Cumberland Plateau

Grants and Contracts Details


This project will involve the reforestation of two reclaimed mine lands, one in KY and one in TN. The TN site will be reforested with species typical of shortleaf-oak forests in the Cumberland Plateau (Oswalt, 2013). Shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata), which will make-up 50% of the total planting mix, is adaptable to a wide range of soil types (Lawson, 1990), and has been shown to perform well on reclaimed minesoil (Franklin and Buckley, 2009). But because minesoils can differ chemically from typical native soils, soil tests will be performed prior to planting, and species mixes adjusted based on slope, aspect, and soil test results. Species associated with shortleaf, and to be considered for planting include white oak (Quercus alba), southern red oak (Quercus falcata), black oak (Quercus velutina), hickory (Carya spp.), and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). The KY site will be replanted to mixed mesophytic hardwood forests typical of eastern Kentucky and the Cumberland Plateau. Yellow-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), white oak (Quercus alba), chestnut oak (Quercus prinus), hickory (Carya spp.), Black Cherry (Prunus serontina), sugar maple (Acer saccharum), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), dogwood shrubs (Cornus spp.), wild plum (Prunus americana), viburnums (Viburnum spp.) and redbud (Cercis Canadensis) will be planted throughout the entire study area. Restoration 1.0 American chestnut (Castanea dentata) will be planted at both sites. Seedlings (1.0 bareroot) will be purchased from nurseries operated by the Kentucky Division of Forestry, and Tennessee Division of Forestry. Seedlings will be planted at cross rip centers (8 x 8 ft. spacing) for a planting density of 681 trees/acre.
Effective start/end date7/1/158/31/17


  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: $149,384.00


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