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Monday, June 3 • 2:30pm - 2:55pm
Thirty Years of Restoration of Forb and Woody Species at Spicewood Ranch

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Restoration at Spicewood Ranch has targeted degraded prairie and oak savanna communities.  Because of previous management and a high white-tailed deer population, restoration of palatable forb and woody browse species has been more difficult and slower than restoration of the grass component. The thirty-year strategy has been to 1- Develop a list (provided) of potential species ranked on palatability, 2- Test grow them from seed within deer exclosures, 3- Increase available quantities of local provenance seed within exclosures, 4- Test seed outside exclosures, 5-  Increase these species outside exclosures as soon as they can survive. In parallel, we are decreasing browse pressure by reducing deer population through hunting and providing more available browse with each sequential reintroduction.
Through this process, species such as Engelmann’s daisy (Engelmannia peristenia), standing cypress (Ipomopsis rubra), and plateau goldeneye (Viguiera dentata), which were not found at the start of restoration, were able to survive ten years into our work and are now flourishing in increasingly large quantities. Other species, such as wild foxglove (Penstemon cobaea), narrow-leaf coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia), and bush-sunflower (Simsia calva), have been surviving and increasing within the last five years and will provide seed source for further increase.
For at least the past fifty years there had been virtually no successful survival of woody seedlings such as post oak or Mexican plum from remnants of these species.     There are now three- to four- year old seedlings surviving outside the deer exclosures. 


David Mahler


Monday June 3, 2019 2:30pm - 2:55pm CDT
Room 1510, The Garden Room