Many of Indiana's forests, especially in the southern part of the state, have been dominated by oak and hickory trees for thousands of years. In recent decades forest researchers and managers in the east-central United States have recognized that these tree species are not replacing themselves with new seedlings. Recognizing this issue, many stakeholders concerned with the status of Indiana's forests convened in the late 1990s to determine the best approach to understanding this transition and to develop strategies for maintaining our oak-hickory ecosystems. As a result of the meetings of this working group, the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) was initiated in 2006. The HEE is intended to last for 100 years because many of the changes that occur in these forests happen over decades. In fact, many of the strongest effects of the transition from oak and hickory forests may not even be observable until we near the end of the project. This is an analysis of the first eight years of the project.