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Tree Planting Inspection


[photo] inspector filling out a form on a siteThe key to successful tree planting starts with a healthy seedling that is handled carefully and planted properly. The rest is up to the weather and the natural environment. While the seedling is being planted, it needs to be given the best chance for survival and growth. The procedures for handling and planting seedlings will vary depending on location. Regardless of the local practices, two basic principles hold true:

  • Mechanical injury to seedlings must be minimized.
  • All physiological damage and stress to seedlings are cumulative.

[diagram] overview of successful tree planting including hand plantingCare must be taken throughout the planting process to assure that seedlings are handled in ways that minimize stress and damage, and that the seedlings are planted as described in the silvicultural prescription. These requirements must be incorporated into the contract requirements, or if a force account crew (USDA Forest Service employees) does the planting, into their instructions.

The planting techniques and handling requirements provided in the other sections of the Web site are incorporated into contracts or planting instructions. A rigorous inspection procedure is critical to assure that seedlings are handled and planted properly. The following pages describe key items associated with tree planting inspection. The information details work associated with contract planting, although most of the information also could be used if force account crews plant the seedlings.

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