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Planting Tools and Techniques


[photo] Planting seedlingsPlanting is the final and most important step in the reforestation process. All the careful steps leading up to planting (cone collection, growth of seedlings at the nursery, careful storage and handling, site preparation) can be for naught if planting is not done correctly.

Hand planting is the most common method of planting for reforestation. In a general planting sequence, personnel select microsites to take advantage of natural shelter and favorable soil conditions. Various implements are used to remove ground cover (called creating a scalp) and prepare a suitable cavity for the seedling. The seedling is carefully placed into the hole and soil is packed around its roots. Forest litter may be placed on the planting spot to retain moisture.

Either bareroot or containerized seedlings are carried into the field and carefully planted using one or more of the available handtools, which include hoes, shovels, planting bars, dibbles, and augers. Tool choices are influenced by factors such as soil characteristics, brush, slash and duff, expected precipitation (a moisture catch basin may be constructed), the type of seedling, and operator preference.

This section will describe the planting phase of the reforestation process. Planting includes:

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