Woodland Restoration

woodlands project photo-stand10

About the Woodland Restoration Project


The Coralville Woodland Restoration Project is a multi-step project that addresses non-native invasive species and non-native tree growth in targeted areas of Coralville forests, and manages these forested stands in a way that encourages native tree populations for future generations to enjoy.  

This project focuses on the understory growth in the forested stands by removing and treating invasive species such as honeysuckle, oriental bittersweet, multiflora rose, burning bush, wild barberry, buckthorn, and other non-native invasive trees and bushes.  The goal is to greatly reduce these populations and treat for regrowth so that Coralville forestry staff can manage the forested areas, and the public can access and enjoy the areas.  

Project Funding


This project is in cooperation with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. In 2016, the Iowa DNR and the City of Coralville received a Healthy Forests grant through the US Forest Service which allowed almost 157 acres of City wooded open space to be evaluated and mapped for invasive species and native tree stands.  The result was the development of a Forest Stewardship Plan for the evaluated areas (view the Forest Stewardship Plan). The City used this plan to apply for and receive grant funding through the Iowa DNR Resource Enhancement and Protection program for restoration.  

The Process 


  • The contractor will use mechanical techniques using a fecon head or brush hog attachment on a skid steer, and manual removal techniques using chain saws and loppers to remove the invasive species. 
  • Where needed, trunks and stems will be treated with an herbicide which will be dyed so it can be seen where the cutting and treatment has taken place.
  • Brush and debris will be removed, or chipped and spread at the site; brush will not be burned.
  • The contractor will visit the site three times to treat the area and address regrowth.  Approximate visits are:
    • January- March 2019 (initial work)
    • May/June 2019 (regrowth treatment)
    • August/September 2019 (regrowth treatment)

Project Sites


The project sites are noted on this mapping to show the areas which are at the following areas:
  • Auburn East/Meade Nature Area
  • Auburn Hills open space
  • Stables Basin open space
  • Clear Creek going west of Camp Cardinal Boulevard

Why This Work Is Important


The Woodland Restoration Project will remove non-native understory tree growth and non-native tree species.  This will clear the woodland understory for hiking and enjoying the woodlands and will allow native trees to grow.  By removing the understory growth, it will bring more light to the woodland floor where we hope to see a re-population of woodland flowers and plants.

Learn more from the Iowa DNR about forest health threats