Machine planting of Norway spruce by Bracke and Ecoplanter: an evaluation of soil preparation, planting method and seedling performance
Luoranen J., Rikala R., Smolander H. (2011). Machine planting of Norway spruce by Bracke and Ecoplanter: an evaluation of soil preparation, planting method and seedling performance. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 3 article id 107. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.107
We evaluated the effects of planting date and planting machine (Bracke: three machines, 69 regeneration areas in three years; Ecoplanter: six areas, two years) on the quality and field performance one and three years after planting of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings in central Finland. Both machine types planted on average 1800 seedlings per hectare, and after three years approximately 1600 (Bracke) and 1200 (Ecoplanter) were still alive. This study suggests that planting with a Bracke machine can achieve better regeneration rates than those observed in privately-owned Finnish forests. We characterized the quality of mounding and planting with the Bracke machine as excellent and that of the Ecoplanter as good. The soil preparation method of the Ecoplanter produced humus-rich mounds where seedlings were susceptible to pine weevils and consequently suffered higher mortality. Different machines were used in different regional areas and each machine was operated by different driver/s which may have influenced the results. No negative effects of planting date were observed. Seedling growth decreased if they were tall in relation to their root plug volume, grown too densely in the nursery, and if stored in the field for several months prior to planting. We conclude that mechanized planting is successful when the soil preparation method produces mounds covered by purely mineral soil. Planting from May to the end of September is suitable for seedlings intended for use during this period.
Received 13 August 2010 Accepted 7 June 2011 Published 31 December 2011