Navigation Links
Shift of weather patterns necessitates rethinking of reforestation methods

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.


Source:Texas A&M University - Agricultural Communications

Related biology news :

1. Shifty-eyed Monkeys Offer Window Into Brains Social Reflexes
2. Primates take weather into account when searching for fruits
3. Scientists to track impact of Asian dust and pollution on clouds, weather, climate change
4. Gene patterns in white blood cells quickly diagnose disease
5. Viral fitness explains different resistance patterns to aids drugs
6. Drug-resistant bacteria patterns in intensive care units changing nationally
7. Use of stone hammers sheds light on geographic patterns of chimpanzee tool use
8. A dichotomy in migration patterns found for sea turtles in east Atlantic
9. Researchers offer clues to how leaves patterns are formed
10. Global map shows new patterns of extinction risk
11. New imaging technique tracks traffic patterns of white blood cells
Post Your Comments:

(Date:10/29/2015)... , Oct. 29, 2015   MedNet Solutions ... the entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to ... High Tech Association (MHTA) as one of only three ... the "Software – Small and Growing" category. The Tekne Awards ... who have shown superior technology innovation and leadership. ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 2015  Connected health pioneer, Joseph C. Kvedar ... technology-enabled health and wellness, and the business opportunities that ... The Internet of Healthy Things . Long before ... existed, Dr. Kvedar, vice president, Connected Health, Partners HealthCare, ... moving care from the hospital or doctor,s office into ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... October 27, 2015 Munich, ... Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from mobile ... Glasses , so that they can be quantitatively ... Munich, Germany , October 28-29, 2015. ... data from mobile eye tracking videos created with ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... Israel , Nov. 24, 2015  Tikcro Technologies Ltd. (OTCQB: TIKRF) ... on December 29, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. Israel ... Electra Tower, 98 Yigal Allon Street, 36 th Floor, ... of Eric Paneth and Izhak Tamir to the ... Rami Skaliter as external directors; , approval of an amendment to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Twist Bioscience, ... that Emily Leproust, Ph.D., Twist Bioscience chief executive ... Healthcare Conference on December 1, 2015 at 3:10 ... in New York City. --> ... . Twist Bioscience is on Twitter. Sign ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... InSphero AG, the leading supplier of easy-to-use solutions for production, culture, ... serve as Chief Operating Officer. , Having joined InSphero in November 2013 ... was promoted to Head of InSphero Diagnostics in 2014. There she has built ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Nov. 24, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - ProMetic Life Sciences Inc. ... that Mr. Pierre Laurin , President and Chief Executive ... the upcoming Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference ... December 1-2, 2015. st , at 8.50am ... meetings throughout the day. The presentation will be available live ...
Breaking Biology Technology: