Clearing trees to save forests

Capital News Service

LANSING — Foresters in Michigan and throughout the Great Lakes region are destroying mighty oaks and other trees to regrow hardwood forests. That may seem counterproductive, but forestry officials say oaks need special attention to maintain a diverse and healthy forest system. That means cutting down decades-old trees, clearing shrubs and sometimes burning the forest floor to encourage new oaks to grow. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently launched a multi-year effort to reforest between 2,000 and 2,500 acres in Kalkaska County. The state land has mature oaks that block oak seedlings from taking root.