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October 5, 2013

DNR releases new tree inventory for state

The Department of Natural Resources has released a new tree inventory designed to better inform Indiana residents how state forests are used.

Some highlights from the DNR Division of Forestry’s Continuous Forestry Inventory report include:

• 149,727 of the 155,725 total acres of state forest land are forested, with the balance being water or open areas such as campgrounds and service areas.

• 95 percent of forested acres are hardwoods.

• There are 59.4 million live trees on Indiana’s state forests, totaling 337.4 million cubic feet of volume.

• Sugar maple trees and seedlings are the most abundant species.

• Tree growth exceeds timber harvest on state forests by at least a two-to-one margin.

• Multiflora rose, Japanese honeysuckle and stiltgrass are the most common invasive plants found in state forests.

The inventory is based on a sample of 3,860 plots located randomly across approximately 156,000 acres of state forest lands, with a sampling rate of approximately one plot for every 40 acres.

The full report is in the “State Forest Management” section at dnr.IN.gov/forestry/3631.htm.

The inventory reports tree measurements on live and dead trees, including identification of species, diameter, height, damage, and tree quality. It also assesses regeneration in State Forests, and includes estimates of growth, mortality, removals and general stand characteristics.

The information will be used as baseline data to compare to future inventory studies.

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