Restoring Forests From Scratch: Testing Direct Seeding

By Lake Champlain Sea Grant Staff
February 23, 2023

Forest restoration experts evaluate new methods all the time, just like in any field of science, and the timeline to reach implementation of new practices can be long and uncertain. For the past six years, through both obstacles and victories, State Fish Biologist Pete Emerson has led a project to test hydroseeding of trees and shrubs for restoring forests.

The February episode of Restoration Roundup podcast called Direct News About Direct Seeding, takes an inside look at a collaborative experiment on direct seeding that is occurring across Vermont. Hear from Jess Colby of Northwoods Stewardship Center and Will Eldridge from the State of Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. Tune in to learn about how direct seeding via a hydroseeder might become the new, up-and-coming tool to spread massive amounts of seed, disrupt invasive species monocultures, and transform old agricultural fields. The practice is capable of seeding large plots without large crews and is adapted to suit multiple types of restoration work.

A team of researchers and practitioners have implemented this method on several sites across Vermont. Now, the collection of researchers, site crews, and partners wait eagerly for the first signs of success after seed germination.

Join us as we discuss logistics to theory to predictions for hydroseeding. We cover the basics and not-so-basics of direct seeding. Listen to this podcast and many others on Lake Champlain Sea Grant's Watershed Forestry Partnership Restoration Roundup Podcast webpage or find the episode on most podcast streaming platforms.

This episode was produced by Cate Kreider, a University of Vermont undergraduate student majoring in environmental sciences and minoring in reporting and documentary story-telling.

The Restoration Roundup podcast, released on the last Wednesday of each month, is supported by NEIWPCC and the Lake Champlain Basin Program.