Current issue: 55(5)
Under compilation: 56(1)
In Nordic forests, consistent evidence about better seedling survival rate and increased growth due to site preparation have been obtained in numerous studies. Proper site preparation method can reduce costs of the whole regeneration chain through its effects on survival of planted seedlings, abundance of natural regeneration and competition in early stand development. This study compared the natural regeneration of birches (silver birch (Betula pendula Roth) and downy birch (B. pubescens Ehrh.)), amount of exposed mineral soil, and growth of planted seedlings between spot mounding and inverting site preparation methods. Present study was conducted in eight forest stands established in 2012 or 2015. Even though difference was not statistically significant, inverting exposed less mineral soil than spot mounding and thus reduced the natural regeneration of birch seedlings by 6135 seedlings ha–1 compared to spot mounding. However, the variation between regeneration areas was remarkable. There was no difference in seedling mortality or growth between the site preparation methods. In order to achieve high growth of conifers, moderate amount of exposed mineral soil and thus less naturally regenerated birch, inverting should be favored over spot mounding.
Commercial forests require early cleaning to ensure the unhindered and uniform growth of crop trees. In order to be cost effective, non-crop vegetation should be uprooted to prevent their recovery. Performing this work manually is a labour-intensive task but it can be done mechanically. We evaluated the efficiency of two uprooting devices in direct seeded Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands ca. 1 m tall. Productivity and quality of the uprooting work was investigated across eight stands and ca. 160 sample plots in northern Karelia, eastern Finland. Time consumption of the uprooters was analyzed through a linear regression model and the work quality through a multilevel multivariate model in terms of the number of individual Scots pine seedlings, processing units (i.e., a bunch of seedlings to be harvested in the future) and broadleaves. The productivity of the narrower modified device was significantly better in terms of time consumption than the wider original device. Work quality did not differ significantly between devices when stand characteristics, regeneration success and pre-existing damage were taken into account. Results indicate that mechanical uprooting devices may be further developed to a cost-effective alternative to motor-manual techniques for the early cleaning of direct seeded commercial Scots pine stands.