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Why Girdle Trees on Fish & Wildlife Area?

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From: Chirs Gombosi
Joliet, IL
Hello, my name is Chris Gombosi and I live in Joliet, Il. I spend a lot of time at the Des Plaines Fish & Wildlife Area training and competing in pointing dog field trials. Over the past years they have been conducting land management projects by completely cutting down trees and also by girdling numerous trees. Could you explain why this girdling is done? Thanks in advance. Chris

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Greetings Chris:

In attempt to hasten the encroachment of woody vegetation (shrubs & trees) on areas managed for grasses and forbs, land managers often utilize the resources of chainsaws and brush mowers. To keep woody vegetation in check, land managers will utilize chainsaws either to fall trees or to girdle trees in place to promote various sized wildlife snags. These snags provide foraging opportunities, perches, nesting sites, and cavities for countless wildlife. Therefore, girdling woody vegetation is just one of many techniques that land managers utilize to hasten woody vegetation encroachment and to maintain the presence of vertical structure.

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