Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Planting time for forest trees branches out to new seasons

29.10.2002


Texas research shows mid-September success with containerized trees

Most foresters hold to the straight and narrow when it comes to planting pine trees: nursery seedlings go in the ground between Dec. 1 and March 1. Period.

But a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station study is branching out to show that early planting -- even as early as mid-September - can give slash pine trees a growing head start towards better survivability, thus faster regrowth on harvested or burnt areas.



The key is containers. Rather than plunge the bare roots of tiny trees into the soil, research is showing that seedlings grown in containers until the moment of planting, then planted with the potting medium intact around the roots isn’t as shocking to the transplants, according to Dr. Mike Messina, Experiment Station forest scientist.

"Planting earlier is proving to be a good idea, because they do get a better start," Messina said. "The containerized plants are having more than 90 percent survival after that critical first year in the ground."

Bare-root trees planted in September have as little as 60 percent survival, he said.

Messina said the reason bare-root trees are planted in far greater numbers than container-grown trees is cost and efficiency. "Some nurseries annually grow 25 million seedlings on relatively few acres," he explained. "After lifting, they pack about 1,000 of them cardboard boxes or paper bags that one person can easily lift."

Those boxes are easy to transport, light to carry to the field and quickly planted in a matter of seconds, he added. Container-grown trees take up more space, have to be watered more often and are more difficult to transport. But the study may find that the increased survivability offsets the additional effort and cost.

The study is being funded by Boise Cascade Corp. with the research plots located on industrial tree farms in Louisiana. But, Messina said, the findings there are readily adaptable to eastern Texas and other southern forests.

The study is beginning its third of three years. By April 2003, about 18,000 slash pine trees will have been planted and measured for growth, survival and physiological performance. More conclusive data and planting recommendations are expected by the spring 2004, but Messina said some results are already obvious.

"The beauty of the containerized plants is uniformity," Messina added. "Bareroot study plots will have rows where three or four trees died, one is doing well and one is a runt. The containterized trees are almost all alive and have about the same height."

Uniformity is important for timber companies that seek trees of similar size for ease of processing, he explained.

"When the forest products industry finds a good performing tree, they want its offspring to be just like it," Messina said. "So, they use vegetative propagation - taking cuttings continuously from the mother plant - so the offspring will be genetically identical." Those cuttings, rooted in containers, become the new trees that have been performing well. The test was to see how well they would fair in the field. For each row of bare-root seedlings, a row of rooted cuttings was planted alongside. Since the containerized tree roots are not exposed, better survival might result thereby expanding the planting window of time.

"We’re trying before, during and after typical planting months of December-March," he said. "We’re planting in September, which is considered really early, and again in November, January, early March and late April."

If a tree survives a September planting so that its roots begin to grow in the fall, that tree will be further along in growing the following spring when new trees are just being planted. Also, if the window of planting time can be expanded, that will ease the time crunch for planting crews that are in demand during the usual December-March planting season.

Fall planting has been largely rejected by foresters, mainly because it’s "terribly, terribly hot" and often dry in much of the southern forest region, making it hard for even the most adapted plants to survive.

"We pray for autumn rains," Messina said. "A tropical storm can be a blessing to us."

Weather, soil moisture, air temperature and other atmospheric conditions are being recorded at each planting site so that researchers can consider those factors in analyzing tree growth and making more long-term recommendations.

Kathleen Phillips | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://agnews.tamu.edu/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Closing the carbon loop

08.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Applicability of dynamic facilitation theory to binary hard disk systems

08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D

08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>