In April 1974, a major tornado traveled across Jefferson County in southeastern Indiana and caused extensive damage to the Happy Valley forest adjacent to Hanover College. Nearly all canopy trees were destroyed, thus creating a natural experiment in forest succession. The pre-tornado forest was an Acer saccharum-Aesculus glabra community with a stem density of 512 trees/ha. In the fall of 1974, the forest was surveyed on three transects across the valley; the northern and central transects were in the most damaged area, the southern transect was in the less-damaged area. Following the tornado, the most common trees were Acer saccharum, Quercus sp., and Fraxinus americana. The forest was resurveyed along the same transects 7, 15, 20, and 25 years after the tornado. Changes in stem density and basal area will be reported.

Key words: Acer saccharum, hardwood forest, Indiana, succession