Following logging and fire during 1890–1897 in an old-growth pine (primarily Pinus strobus and P. resinosa) stand near Found Lake in northeastern Wisconsin, the pattern and rate of forest succession was determined between 1950 and 1997. The original forest was reconstructed from analysis of stumps remaining in 1950. The study of stumps was a feasible retrospective approach to a detailed analysis of the variability and patchwork nature of the original (Before White Settlers, BWS) pine forests in northern Wisconsin. White birch (Betula papyrifera) and aspen (Populus spp.) dominated the Found Lake stand for about 80 y following logging and fire. Based on the Importance Value of trees and saplings, and basal area of trees, white pine (P. strobus) and especially red pine (P. resinosa) have begun to re-emerge as dominant species in the study area some 100 y after catastrophic disturbance. The abundance of sugar maple (Acer saccharum) trees has increased dramatically in recent years in the study area. Although variable, radial tree growth peaked consistently at 2–5 mm ring increment/y during the middle decades (1925–1960) of recovery for aspen, white birch, white pine and red oak (Quercus rubra borealis).
Balsam fir (Abies balsamea), sugar maple and white spruce (Picea glauca) are now (1997) predominant in the understory of the forest stand as saplings. This composition of the sapling layer suggests that in the absence of fire in the future the pines would eventually give way to balsam fir, sugar maple and white spruce.