Drought damage not over
Drought damage not over.
That was the message University of Tennessee forestry professor Wayne Clatterbuck delivered at the spring meeting of the Upper Cumberland Forestry Association group in Cookeville Tuesday.
Clatterbuck, an expert in both upland and bottomland forest landscapes, said it will take several years for the damage to trees to fully show itself.
Why the delay?
“The tree doesn’t die right then.
Clatterbuck noted people can already see signs of ridge decline, typically areas of red oaks in higher, drier areas.
White oak species typically live longer — a couple hundred years, compared to area red oaks’ approximate 80-year lifespan, Clatterbuck said.
Despite the damage, Clatterbuck said Tennessee forests fared the best among the 14 Southeastern states in withstanding the drought.
“Lots of species, lots of water,” Clatterbuck said.
Clatterbuck also talked about the Smoky Mountains fire that struck Pigeon Forge, and even more tragically, Gatlinburg.