In a balanced system, nature does a far better job of regenerating forests than humans can. Natural regeneration of hardwood stands is by far the best way to insure strong healthy forest for the future. However, for this to succeed after two hundred years of human interaction, we must now preserve the genetic integrity of forest stands, control invasive plants, and protect new seedlings from overabundant wildlife.
The same is true for unused open lands. In the past, abandoned agricultural property reverted back to native forest vegetation fairly quickly. Today, however, invasive plant species coupled with overabundant wildlife have created the need for artificial (manual) reforestation. By planting the appropriate forest species and protecting them from wildlife browsing, we can insure that diverse forests are established for the future.