Reforestation success can be enhanced by improving tree planting methods

Preece, Noel D., van Oosterzee, Penny, and Lawes, Michael J. (2023) Reforestation success can be enhanced by improving tree planting methods. Journal of Environmental Management, 336. 117645.

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Abstract

Successful cost-effective reforestation plantings depend substantially on maximising sapling survival from the time of planting, yet in reforestation programs remarkably little attention is given to management of saplings at the planting stage and to planting methods used. Critical determinants of sapling survival include their vigour and condition when planted, the wetness of the soil into which saplings are planted, the trauma of transplant shock from nursery to natural field soils, and the method and care taken during planting. While some determinants are outside planters' control, careful management of specific elements associated with outplanting can significantly lessen transplanting shock and improve survival rates. Results from three reforestation experiments designed to examine cost-effective planting methods in the Australian wet tropics provided the opportunity to examine the effects of specific planting treatments, including (1) watering regime prior to planting, (2) method of planting and planter technique, and (3) site preparation and maintenance, on sapling survival and establishment. Focusing on sapling root moisture and physical protection during planting improved sapling survival by at least 10% (>91% versus 81%) at 4 months. Survival rates of saplings under different planting treatments were reflected in longer-term survival of trees at 18–20 months, differing from a low of 52% up to 76–88%. This survival effect was evident more than 6 years after planting. Watering saplings immediately prior to planting, careful planting using a forester's planting spade in moist soil and suppressing grass competition using appropriate herbicides were critical to improved plant survival.

Item ID: 78301
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1095-8630
Keywords: Herbicide treatment, Planter effect, Sapling survival
Copyright Information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/bync/4.0/).
Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: ARC LP0989161
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2023 05:18
FoR Codes: 30 AGRICULTURAL, VETERINARY AND FOOD SCIENCES > 3007 Forestry sciences > 300707 Forestry management and environment @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3108 Plant biology > 310804 Plant developmental and reproductive biology @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3108 Plant biology > 310806 Plant physiology @ 40%
SEO Codes: 26 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 2602 Forestry > 260204 Native forests @ 50%
26 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 2699 Other plant production and plant primary products > 269999 Other plant production and plant primary products not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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