Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

John E. Ebinger


A comparative study of the woody vegetation changes at Baber Woods, Edgar County, Illinois, since 1964 was completed in 1983. This 51 acre woodlot is a remnant of a much larger forest which once occuppied the Shelbyville Moraine.

An inventory of the woody vegetation shows that the present stand consists of 109 stems per acre with a basal area of 113 sq. ft. per acre. In this survey, 33 woody species were found. Sugar maple had the highest Importance Value (IV) of all woody species present, having the highest density in both the 4-6 and 7-12 inch diameter classes, as well as in the sapling category. White oak moved down to second in importance, with its importance largely due to its high relative dominance. White oak had poor size class distribution in the woodlot with most of the individual trees in the 19-24 and 25+ inch diameter classes. Pignut hickory, black oak, and slippery elm have remained the same in importance, while shagbark hickory has decreased from fifth to eighth in importance. White ash and red oak increased to fifth and sixth from their once sixth and eighth standing in 1964.

The woodlot contains three well-defined areas or regions. The first area contains numerous large trees of sugar maple and oak, with sugar maples relative dominance exceeding thirty percent of the stand; the second contains numerous large trees of oak and hickory, and the third area, a small three acre section that was clear cut in 1898, which is comprised primarily of small diameter trees of sugar maple, white ash, slippery and American elm, bitternut hickory and black oak. Over two-thirds of the trees in the 1-4 inch diameter class and nearly half of the individuals in the 4-6 and 7-12 inch diameter classes are sugar maple, suggesting a continued and increasing importance of this species.