Join us for a practical workshop for landowners concerned about how to best manage fire on tracts with significant duff loads. The workshop will begin with a short classroom session that will cover the science of duff and management options available for landowners. We will then head to the Boyd Tract of Weymouth Woods-Sandhills Nature Preserve to further discuss duff and fire management in the field. The workshop will conclude by 8:00 PM. Attendees are encouraged to bring food if they will need it.
What is Duff and Why Does it Matter?
Duff is a soil layer made up of partly decaying material that can include needles and leaf litter, bark, pine cones, and roots. In fire-dependent ecosystems such as longleaf pine forests where fire is excluded, duff is no longer consumed by fire and accumulates. Duff accumulates most around the base of trees, particularly larger trees. When fire is reintroduced to these forests, the smoldering combustion of duff around large trees can lead to the death of those trees, often months or even years after the fire. When applying prescribed fire in forests with substantial duff accumulation, it is crucial to take management precautions to avoid killing mature trees.