The Alexandria Research Center
This booklet describes the work of the Alexandria Research Center. The Center is a field unit of the Southern Forest Experiment Station, Forest Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture. Its special mission is to find practical solutions to the most urgent land-management problems of the cutover longleaf pine lands west of the Mississippi River.
The Research Center was established in July 1946. It did not have to start from scratch, however, for it was able to draw on work begun in 1934 by Forest Service technicians stationed in New Orleans. In this early period, Philip C. Wakeley, working at the Stuart Nursery and on the Palustris Experimental Forest, carried out much basic research in pine seed processing, nursery practices, and planting. Many of Wakeley's plantations are now being used for studies of thinning methods and other management techniques. In 1944 and 1945, Dr. R. S. Campbell started studies in forest grazing, forest range improvement, and the use of chemicals to control scrub oaks. By 1946, therefore, the Research Center had a very solid foundation on which to base its program.
The Center's chief field laboratory is the Palustris Experimental Forest, which consists of 7, 830 acres in two separate tracts. The oldest is the J. K. Johnson Tract, which was established in 1935; it contains 2, 030 acres. The second is the Longleaf Tract, an area of 5, 800 acres dedicated to research in 1950.