Will vegetation germinate through a thick layer of leaf litter?

By Grant Woods,

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← Grant's AnswersHabitat Management
Where I hunt we have determined that much more bedding is needed. The woods have developed a state park effect and needs to be either hinge cut or thinned with the hack and squirt method. However, there is a ton of leaf litter on the ground and we do not have permission to burn. Will this prevent new growth? How would you recommend we deal with that issue? Thanks Grant!!


Typically sunshine must reach the soil to cause native vegetation to germinate.  The activity associated with the timber stand improvement usually exposes the soil some areas and results in some germination.  Certainly conditions won’t improve if no action is taken.  

I’d start the project and continue to educate the landowner about the benefits of prescribed fire!

Enjoy creation,


January 6, 2016