Research

Urban Natural resource Management

Overview

Farm image

The increasing U. S. population and associated urban sprawl into rural areas surrounding cities is rapidly changing the nation's landscape. Many city dwellers are drawn to semi-rural settings and purchase small acreages, e.g., 5-20 acres, which can be managed to provide a variety of values. These acreages usually occur in groups as a result of division of a larger land base owned by a single owner. Often, they are devoid of trees and shrubs due to site preparation by land developers or conversion of agricultural land used for row-crop production. New owners usually desire a landscape that includes trees and associated wildlife and flora and will manage their lands accordingly. Large containerized or ball-and-burlaped trees from commercial nurseries can be prohibitively expensive for landowners. Planting with high-quality, bare-root nursery stock, which is adapted to the local site. From a landscape viewpoint, new ecosystems, albeit artificial, can being created from this type of land development and afford the opportunity for natural resource management.

Since 2001, locally adapted, high-quality seedlings have been planted on three different acreages south of Omaha, Nebraska. The acreages are adjacent to each other or in the same proximity. Each landowner owns a different amount of land and has common and different management objectives. One factor that the landowners do share in common is exceedingly heavy pressure from deer. Unprotected trees are subjected to annual browsing and rubbing, often with lethal results.