During the winter of 2019, restoration began on a degraded four-acre white oak woodland. Located on a west aspect slope of a glacial esker in the Merry Lea State Nature Preserve, this site was historically grazed prior to 1938, and likely until 1967.
After grazing ceased, shade-tolerant understory trees and populations of invading prickly ash and garlic mustard became established. The latter two species were controlled by the fall of 2018, and currently the understory canopy trees are being removed. After removal, periodic prescribed burning will be implemented. As a result, herbaceous ground layer species endemic to open oak woodlands should re-establish themselves.