Prescribed fire planned for The Arboretum to support native plant life 

During the month of March, staff at The Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky will administer a prescribed fire to help remove thatch that builds up from the grasses and wildflowers over time. The prescribed fire will allow native seeds to contact the soil surface and help prevent the sun-loving plants from getting shaded by the thatch. It will also help manage the encroachment of woody plants into the meadow that would, without management, eventually shade out the area and become a forest. 

“Prescribed fire is an important tool that is used to manage natural areas across Kentucky and protect rare species and our natural heritage,” explained Jessica Slade, the native plants collection manager and curator for The Arboretum. “There are many agencies and organizations that work together during the spring and fall to safely and efficiently get fire on the ground.” 

Prescribed fire can also help control the spread of non-native invasive species in the meadow and allow easy access for management during the growing season after the burn. 

Katherine Johnson

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