Soil Health Labs

21 A Growing Problem: The Invasion of Eastern Red Cedar

Episode Summary

In this podcast Dr. Buz Kloot and Rangeland Management Specialist Rod Voss talk about the eastern red cedar (or green glacier) invasion and what it means to rangeland, the problems the invasion occurs and why its with us in South Dakota. After we discuss the problem (invasion of eastern red cedar) Rod walks us through the option of using fire (as opposed to simple mechanical treatment) and how this can be done safely through prescribed fire. Rod touches on the burn plan, which, if followed will reduce the risk of a wildfire. Apart from the burn plan, we also touch on how to prepare the land, and this depends on the size of trees you have, the concept of fuel load, fuel ladders (that’s where we have forests with trees of 20 ft and taller0 and the notion of fire return interval. Rod also gives a good explanation of why its important to control cedars when they are small, rather than wait for them to get big. Finally, Rod discusses why neighboring up in burn association is the only way we are going to get the eastern red cedar issue under control in South Dakota. Right now the Mid Missouri River Prescribed Burn association (Gregory, Charles Mix, Lyman and Brule Counties) is the only one of its kind in the state and we are going to have to see more burn associations organize to take care of this significant problem.