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Old Field Managment

(Old field vegetation) Vegetation consisting of a mix of grasses, forbs and shrubs is one of the most common plant communities on undeveloped land. Old field vegetation is highly beneficial to wildlife supporting numerous bird and insect species that require open habitat, but it is extremely vulnerable to permanent alteration from human development and risk of invasion from invasive plants. It's important for wildlife populations that this land be kept in its natural state.

White Oak Nursery (WON) provides many options for you to manage old field habitat using sound ecological principals.   You will learn how to manage your property for the highest aesthetic, ecological and biological values. I will help you speed up the process of natural succession to develop shrub habitat for birds or start the process of growing a woodland. I can introduce native ornamental trees and shrubs to enhance its aesthetic appearance. I'll help you understand the natural processes taking place on your land so you know how to manage your property for the future.

Non-native invasive plants quickly invade old field habitat, like this field invaded with Asian honeysuckle. If you own an old field, you either have invasive plants or you will soon get them.. Without control your field will be overrun in a matter of years, decreasing its value to you and for wildlife. I can help you control the invasive plants and manage your property for the future.

field covered in honeysucklefiled after control
The picture on the left shows a field on its way to being over run with Asian honeysuckle. The field was cleared of invasives, preserving the field as productive bird habitat
and able to be used for pasture, hay and other uses.

Grey dogwood
Old field covered with native Grey dogwood an important wildlfie plant.

If you care about bird conservation on your land, W.O.N. can help you preserve what you already have or help you create prime bird habitat.Grey dogwood is one of the most important native wildlife shrubs. A field like this provides critical habitat for local song bird populations. It also provides large amounts of high energy fruits that birds feed on during fall migration.

Biological diversity does't just happen. A greater diversity of plants will support more species of wildlife. Most fields develop with only one or two species of shrubs or trees. I can help you establish a diverse mix of trees and shrubs that will support more wildlife and shape its future development.

Chokce CherryPagoda dogwood
Adding important species such as Common chokecherry and Pagoda dogwood to your land will shape its future development.

Old fields eventually develop into woodland, but often the first trees that grow are undesirable weedy species. With proper management you can guide the future development of your forest. W.O.N. can help you manage your property to produce high value hardwoods species, such as oak, cherry, hickory and maple, or increase its wildlife value.

this page updated February 17, 2021