OAES/OARDC Forestry Plantation Fieldbook Collection

This collection of digitized handwritten forestry plantation fieldbooks represents original records of plantation studies collected as part of extensive forest tree research efforts led by faculty of the Department of Forestry (today: School of Environment and Natural Resources) at the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station (OAES) (today: Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences, The Ohio State University) beginning around 1953. The main purpose of the studies was to record measurements of growth and development of individual species to support forest tree improvement programs for the State of Ohio. Examples for common measurements that were recorded in the plantation books are height, diameter, terminal bud diameter, branch length, foliage color, crooks or forks, number of cones, percent sugar, and flowering date. Management operations performed on the trees were also recorded, including fertilization, spraying, and pruning. Existing forestry research standards were followed for taking the measurements. There were more than 60 plantations in Wooster, Apple Creek, Coshocton and other locations around the state involving multiple forest tree species. Although a number of plantations exist to this date, data collection at all sites was discontinued in the mid-1990s with the retirement of the forest geneticists involved in the research program.

Each plantation book represents a single plantation site and includes measurements for individual trees at multiple time intervals; a record of any treatments; a map of the plantation; other notes regarding the site; and images depicting the plantation site and/or individual species. Each tree was given an accession number as a unique identifier which is cross referenced to another book that records information regarding the source of the seed or cutting. The collection covers data collected/recorded between 1953 and the mid-1990s.

Faculty members involved with the original data collection/recording efforts include Dr. Howard B. Kriebel, Dr. James H. Brown, and Dr. Daniel B. Houston. The faculty were members of the Department of Forestry of the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station which was renamed Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in 1965 and merged with The Ohio State University in 1982. Today, the Department of Forestry is part of the School of Environment and Natural Resources, College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.


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