Since the early years of forestry, a major activity of amateur and professional foresters in the Northeast has been planting trees on old fields abandoned from agriculture. It was quickly learned that old field herbaceous communities severely slow the establishment of many of our favorite trees, forcing planters to settle mostly for easily planted rugged pioneer species and stimulating a mass of tree establishment research. However, over the last century, much of the northeastern landscape has shifted from open field to predominantly forest cover, mostly from natural reforestation but aided by tree planters.

The conditions associated with perennial meadows, which have implications for effective right-of-way maintenance, maintenance costs and the impact of deferred maintenance...