Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Shift of Weather Patterns Necessitates Rethinking of Reforestation Methods

31.05.2005


The same 5-foot white PVC pipe was used as a measuring rod in all three pictures. In this this montage, all three trees are in their second growing season and a part of a Texas Cooperative Extension forestry research project.


Forest landowners can greatly increase the survival rate of pine tree seedlings by changing when and how they plant, according to research conducted here. "There’s been too many (reforestation) failures over the last decade or so," said Dr. Eric Taylor, Texas Cooperative Extension forestry specialist. "Some landowners have had to replant two, three or even four years in a row because of poor seedling survival."

Second-year data from an ongoing comparison of planting methods show that survival rates could be significantly increased by using containerized seedlings and planting in the fall instead of the winter or early spring.

In 2000, a Texas Forest Service survey showed Texas had 12 million acres in forest land, all of it in the East Texas Piney Woods area. Approximately 61 percent of the forest land was owned by non-industrial private forest landowners. Another 32 percent was owned by industry and investment groups, and the remainder was publicly owned. In 2000, approximately 160,000 acres were being replanted each year. Non-industrial private landowners accounted for about half of the replantings.



Taylor’s test show that fall-planted containerized seedlings had a 93 percent survival rate compared to 67 percent survivability for bare root seedlings. After two years, the containerized seedlings averaged about 4 feet tall and 6-3/4 inches in diameter. The bare root fall-plantings averaged less than 3 feet tall and about 0.4 inches in diameter.

"Now that the third growing season is under way, the fall-planted containerized trees are really taking off," Taylor said. "Some are 7 feet tall and taller. Compare that to traditional bare root/spring seedlings that have been left behind."

As for spring plantings, both bare root and containerized seedlings had a 83 percent survival rate. The containerized seedlings were only slightly larger than the bare root plantings after two years. "And we did everything right planting the bare root seedlings," Taylor said. "Doing everything right" meant meticulous attention to care of the bare root seedlings, soil moisture at planting time, attention to weather conditions and planting techniques, Taylor said.

If everything is done correctly, containerized plantings have little or no economic advantage over bare root seedlings – if planting in the spring, he noted.

But it’s rare that everything is done correctly, particularly considering the landowner doesn’t have full control over all factors with bare root seedlings, he said. The trees may arrive at the site already stressed. "And this is a big factor in their survival," Taylor said.

Another big factor is the subjection of new to hot dry conditions before they’ve had a chance to acclimate and recover from the stress of planting. Rethinking planting time could remedy the loss due to droughty conditions, Taylor said. Traditional methods prescribe planting in the winter, but conditions – primarily soil moisture and availability of planting crews – may mean planting isn’t done until late March. A decade or more ago, East Texas weather patterns favored success with this planting strategy. Relatively cool, wet weather throughout mid-summer gave the new seedlings time to recover from root damage. But weather patterns have changed, Taylor said.

"Using a Texas Forest Service analysis of 100 years of weather data, we see a cyclical pattern of 25 years of summers that are either hot and drier or cooler and wetter than average," he said. "We’re now in about year eight of a 25-year hot-and-dry cycle. That doesn’t mean every year will be hot and dry. The last two years weren’t. It just means that the trend will be for more hot-and-dry summers."

Most years, Taylor expects this hot-and-drier trend to give an even a bigger advantage to containerized fall plantings over other methods. Economically, fall planting of containerized seedlings has other advantages.

For example, there’s less waste. Landowners are often to advised to over-plant in the spring because of the likelihood of low survivability. With containerized seedlings, the survival rate is higher and landowners can plant fewer trees to get the same stand density.

On wet years, when a high percentage of bare root seedlings do survive, landowners find themselves paying for costly thinnings, Taylor said.

Taylor’s research is being conducted near the Texas A&M University Research and Extension Center at Overton. The Bruce McMillan Jr. Foundation, a perpetual trust dedicated to agricultural science and education, made available two tracts of land – each about 100 acres in size – on long-term, no cost leases, for forestry research.

Robert Burns | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tamu.edu

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Researchers discover natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide
16.07.2018 | UCLA Samueli School of Engineering

nachricht Advance warning system via cell phone app: Avoiding extreme weather damage in agriculture
12.07.2018 | Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>