• Start-up
  • Planning
  • Action
  • Evaluation

Promoting forest regeneration under pressure from invasive species and emerald ash borer

Members of the Wyndham Land Trust engaged in an adaptation planning workshop hosted by NIACS and the Land Trust Alliance in 2020. The team assessed the vulnerability and developed adaptation actions for Aicher/Holzer Preserve, a site currently under pressure from invasive species and pests. The team is planning to reduce stressors in the near term while promoting the long-term growth of a diversity of tree species in the forest.

Project Area

Google MyMap aerial overview delineating Aicher Preserve area
The preserve is approximately 200 acres in size and has a mixture of active farmland (hay and corn), modest forest blocks, and two ponds. In early 2020, ash trees were harvested in one of the forested areas on the property in order to address an early infestation of emerald ash borer beetles. The farmland areas are surrounded by a thick ring of various invasive bushes and vines, including multiflora rose and bittersweet. Invasive species such as barberry, bittersweet, and privet, are also present in much of the forest areas, but to a lesser degree.

Management Goals

The primary goals at this preserve are to address the spread of invasive species and to encourage native plant and tree regeneration within the forested areas. 

Challenges and Opportunities

Climate change will present challenges and opportunities for accomplishing the management objectives of this project, including:


Susceptibility to insect pests
Wind damage from extreme weather
Potential increase in vigor of invasive species


Areas that have been thinned to mitigate emerald ash borer provide an opportunity for planting a diversity of tree species

Adaptation Actions

Project participants used the Adaptation Workbook to develop several adaptation actions for this project, including:

Agricultural field
Physical removal of multiflora rose and bittersweet using a brush hog
Investigate sources of funding for professional control of invasive species, such as NRCS EQIP grants
Clear a select area of the thinned forest area of any unwanted invasive species, then plant a number of desired tree saplings, taking care to protect them from deer or other pests
Create brush piles with branches left over from the logging operation for wildlife habitat


Project participants identified several monitoring items that could help inform future management:
Determine the current baseline level of invasive species
Monitor the density of invasive species in select areas every six months
Assess the success of regeneration and planted trees in select forest areas

Learn More

To learn more about this project, contact