Inside the Source: Managing Eastern Redcedar in Oklahoma
April 24, 2019
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Managing Eastern Redcedar in Oklahoma by Andrea Watts
"In Oscar Hammerstein’s song “Oklahoma,” Curly sings, “Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain”—not where the wind comes sweeping down the woodlands. Yet that’s the reality in portions of the state. Although eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) is native to Oklahoma, decades of fire exclusion have allowed this tree to move onto the state’s tallgrass prairies. Until recently, it wasn’t known just how widespread eastern redcedar was, but a nearly finished resource assessment offers insight as to its distribution and potential markets to incentivize its removal.
The assessment was undertaken by Omkar Joshi, Rod Will, and Salim Hiziroglu, professors at Oklahoma State University, and Ravneet Kaur, a graduate student. In 2017, the team was awarded a grant from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology to determine if new markets could be developed to encourage the removal of eastern redcedar."