USDA Forest Service
 

Pacific Southwest Research Station

 

Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
West Annex Building
Albany, CA 94710-0011

(510) 559-6300

United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Publications and Products

Order a printed copy
of this publication.

General Technical Report

Title: Mulches aid in regenerating California and Oregon forests: past, present, and future

Author: McDonald, Philip M.; Helgerson, Ole T.

Date: 1990

Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-123. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 19 p

Station ID: GTR-PSW-123

Description: The use of mulches as a reforestation tool in Oregon and California began primarily in the late 1950's. Many types of mulches were tried including sheets of plastic, newspaper, and plywood; various thicknesses of bark, sawdust, sand, and straw; sprayed-on petroleum resin; and even large plastic buckets. Most proved to be ineffective, costly or both. Early trials tended to use small, short-lived materials that aided conifer seedling survival, but not growth. Compared to other weed-control techniques available at the time, mulches were rather expensive. Current trends are to apply longer-lived, somewhat larger mulches of mostly sheet materials made of reinforced paper, polyester, or polypropylene. When the various costs of mulching (material, installation, and maintenance) are totalled, the overall cost of the technique continues to be high. Recently, new mulch materials of polyester, polypropylene, or combinations of both have allowed silviculturists to consider large, durable mulches (10 by 10 feet or 3 by 3 m) for enhancement of growth (not just survival), and to control plants with stiffer stems.

Key Words: Mulching, cost, effectiveness, conifer seedlings, survival, growth

View and Print this Publication (1 MB)

Citation

McDonald, Philip M.; Helgerson, Ole T.  1990.  Mulches aid in regenerating California and Oregon forests: past, present, and future  Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-123. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station. 19 p.

Last Modified: Nov 18, 2013 12:42:31 PM