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Woodland Owner Webinars: Protecting Our Oaks

July 15 @ 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


Oaks are an important part of our ecosystem and economy. They provide habitat and food for wildlife, their wood is used for furniture, making barrels, and heating, and large oaks can increase the value of your property. But sadly, oaks are in need of a helping hand. High deer populations, diseases and pests, and other factors lead to poor oak regeneration. John Geissler, Saint John’s Abbey Land Manager and Outdoor University Director, will discuss their research on oak management and dealing with high densities of deer while Paul Cigan from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will discuss oak wilt in northwest Wisconsin.

When: Wednesday, July 15 at 1:30 PM

Please note that this event is free, but registration is required.

To register for the webinar, click here.

You will receive a confirmation email with a link to the webinar upon registration. This webinar will also be recorded for future viewing.

About the Presenters:

Adaptive management for future oak forests in the hardwood hills of Minnesota–a 20 year journey by John Geissler

Regenerating northern red oak (Quercus rubra) and white oak (Quercus alba) on mesic sites in areas of high white-tailed deer densities is a challenge that Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum in Collegeville, MN has attempted to address for twenty years with a variety of techniques. The case studies I will present illustrate three major steps in adaptive oak management at Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum including silvicultural methods without deer protection, with deer protection, and finally with deer protection plus weed protection and annual weeding of understory competition.  For land managers working on rich mesic sites with high deer densities, these case studies confirm that deer protection alone is not enough to regenerate oak.  A plan that both protects the oak seedlings from deer herbivory and controls competing vegetation until oak seedlings regenerate above deer browse height and escape understory competition is required. 


John Geissler (Land Manager at Saint John’s Abbey Arboretum and Director at Saint John’s Outdoor University)

John Geissler was hired as Saint John’s Abbey Land Manager and Outdoor University Director starting June 2017.  Previously, Geissler served for 10 years as the program director at Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center in Duluth, MN.  Geissler has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from SJU and a master’s degree in environmental education from the University of Minnesota Duluth.  He recently completed a master’s degree in forestry from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in December 2018.  John is passionate about oak regeneration and the importance of young oak stands for forest resilience and future biodiversity.

Oak Wilt in Northwest WI by Paul Cigan

Oak wilt is the most serious disease of red oak species in the country.  This often lethal fungal disease has recently been spreading into new areas in northern Wisconsin impacting the health and beauty of oak woodlands.  This presentation will focus on the identification, biology, and management of this disease and simple measure landowners can take to prevent disease on their property.


Paul Cigan (Forest Health Specialist for Northwest WI at Wisconsin DNR)

Paul Cigan earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in forest biology and management from the Universities of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, and the University of Alberta, respectively.  Paul lives in Hayward where he enjoys year-round recreation in the majestic North Woods by cross-county skiing, biking, trail running, kayaking, open-water swimming, and camping.  He also loves to spend time with family, grows a humongous home garden, and spends some hunting deer and pheasant and fishing with friends.  


July 15
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm


St. Croix River Association