Delhi, Delaware County
Directions: From Hopkinton, go north on Highway 38, take the first gravel road right and go .4 miles north and turn east past a building site. Go about half a mile to the end of the road. The farm begins at the end of the road and lies to the east.
Iowa State University managed by ISU Extension forester (515) 294-1168 or (515) 294-5045.
Strategic management and sale of timber supports research at the forest.
The research forest was donated to ISU in 1949 by Emma L. Brayton. The university purchased an additional 10 acres in 1951.
The area has a complex glacial history. The terrain is marked by limestone outcroppings, steep side-slopes and narrow ridges.
Researchers use the native forest to study and demonstrate a variety of topics of interest to woodland owners. Studies and demonstrations include walnut establishment trials and production of valuable wood products from diseased trees salvaged from the forest.
The Brayton Forest provides a variety of topography and plants for studying Iowa’s woodlands.
A small area of timber is being partially harvested to study the costs and benefits of woody biomass feedstock production for the bioenergy sector. Researchers also are studying the impacts of this woody biomass removal on wildlife populations as well as on forest processes. Unwanted undergrowth is aggressively managed in demonstration areas throughout the forest, as well as a long-term study on the impacts of deer browsing on seedling survival, growth and internal wood quality. Given the current rate of oak decline in Iowa, researchers also study and demonstrate methods for re-establishing oak trees through harvesting and prescribed burning.