Restoration of Upland Systems
We have been restoring upland ecosystems including scrub, sandhill, flatwoods, seepage slopes, and wet prairies since 1985.
Successful restoration of fire driven communities such as sandhill and flatwoods which are best described as savannahs would require that a low intensity ground fire be able to carry through the communities by a cover of grasses and forbs.
In order to make it financially possible to restore these systems, we began developing the techniques and seeding the ground cover of these ecosystems in 1994 and have succesfully seeded dozens of sites since that time.
Flatwoods restored from bahia pasture
We begin restoration by thorough site preparation such as removing a bahia grass or weed cover and preparing a seed-bed ready site. Seed is harvested with a green silage cutter, flail vac, and by hand. Seed is carefully spread, dried, and sorted in preparation for seeding.
The seeding of sites begins soon after the main harvest in November and extends through January to get maximum germination. Seed is spread with a modified sod sprigger or Grasslander.
Modified sod sprigger
Samples of ecosystem restoration through seeding
Seepage slope wildflowers
Dry mesic flatwoods 11 months after seeding
Wiregrass and wildflowers are producing seed 9 months after seeding
10 months after seeding
Hand collected seed from species such as the lovegrasses shown here help to insure a successful seeding project
After the groundcover is established, we plant containerized trees and shrubs
We have restored sites varying in size from 5 to 400 acres