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FOREST MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP MANUAL

PLANTING TREES

Storage of Planting Stock
Pine planting stock can be heeled-in safely for 2 to 3 weeks during the planting season. The heeling-in technique is pictured in the Instruction Sheet.

In the heel-in trench, all roots should be covered plus about one inch of the stems. The heel-in site should be in well drained soil, preferably a sandy soil. Water should be available for use in excessively dry periods. Pine planting stock can be stored satisfactorily in 1,000 lot bundles in cellars for a week if it is kept moist and well ventilated. Stock cannot be stored with roots in water. Such storage for periods of even one day in injurious.

Hardwood planting stock frequently is more difficult to store in bundles in heeling-in beds. The bulkier root systems favor the development of harmful molds. If moldy roots are in evidence when the stock is received, report this to the district office. If any hardwood stock is to be held for more than two days before it is planted, the bundles should be broken and the stock should be heeled-in.

Care of Stock During Planting
The exposure of planting stock to the sun or wind during handling and planting probably causes more mortality than any other single factor. Such exposure must be reduced to an absolute minimum. Bare-rooted seedlings should not be exposed to the air for more than a few minutes.

Planting stock can be planted directly from buckets containing water. On rough terrain, trays, in which the tree roots are protected by wet moss, may be used. The puddling of tree roots in mud or a soil-water solution at time of planting is usually unnecessary. Since hard freezing of planting stock roots will reduce survival, stock should not be handled bare rooted in the open during extreme freezing weather.

Planting Methods
The planting bar or dribble is recommended for manual tree planting in Kentucky solely for the reason that these tools are more efficient than others for most planting site conditions. Whatever method of planting or tool is used, there are certain basic requirements that must be satisfied; the tree must be planted a fraction of an inch deeper than it grew in the nursery, the top and bottom of the hole or slit must be closed completely, and the root must be straight.

Planting machines have limited adaptation to Kentucky planting sites. Topography is the most limiting factor. Their use must be confined to the more gently rolling terrain with few gullies or to flat lands. Planting machines, where they can be used, save more time, labor, and costs; recommended on areas three acres in size or larger. Planting machines are available through the Division of Forestry, on a rental basis. Contact the District Forester for the machine.

Spacing
For open field planting a 6' x 7' spacing generally will be recommended. Six x seven foot spacing requires 1,000 trees per acre.

The black walnut spacing should generally be 12' x 14'. It can be planted in mixture with another species to result in an overall spacing of 6' x 7'.

Factors Which Cause Losses in Planting
1. Planting stock whose roots have been over-exposed to drying conditions and extreme cold. 2. Storage with roots in water for more than a few hours. 3. Combination of mechanical injuries during planting; such as, stembending, crushing, bark scraping, root-scraping, and splitting of the main roots. 4. Failure to close top and bottom of hole or slit. 5. Planting seedlings too high or too low.
Planting Site Preparation
Site preparation methods include furrowing, scalping, gully bank-sloping, gully check-dams, mulching, and brush elimination. The plowing of contour furrows at six-foot intervals, on heavily vegetated areas, makes bar or mattock planting quicker and easier, simplifies control of spacing, and gives some temporary protection from fire. Furrows should be plowed sufficiently in advance of planting to allow time for settling.

Scalping is usually done at the time of planting with a mattock. It consists of removing surface vegetation from an 8 to 10 inch square, cutting just deep enough to reduce the regrowth of grasses from the roots. Scalping is necessary only on the more fertile soils where a rank growth of grasses or other close growing vegetation is expected to compete seriously. Seedlings usually can compete successfully with coarse weeds, such as ragweed.

Observations have shown that the mulching of critical areas such as strip mines or the mulching of planted trees on severely eroded areas, has increased initial survival and initial growth. The tight mulching of such areas easily can double planting costs. Where mulching materials are not readily available, costs mount rapidly. Straw-type mulching material is desirable. Proper mulching consists of a light uniform coating of straw, pine or cedar branches, leaf litter, or sericea stems. It does not include the haphazard throwing of brush into gullies.

Removal of undesirable species and scrubby brush of no economic value, which if allowed to remain on the site would interfere with the survival and growth of the plantation, is recommended.

Chemicals (herbicides) registered for controlling many herbaceous weeds and woody plants on forestland are: 2-4-D, 2-4-5-T, and Silvex. The labels of the containers of the previously mentioned herbicides detail all the registered uses. If a use is not on the label, it is not registered for that use. Read and thoroughly understand the herbicide label before using the chemical.

Note: Since this was written in the 1970s some of these chemicals have been taken off the market and others have been developed.

Methods of Site Preparation
1.  Foliage spraying
2.  Basal spraying
3.  Cutting and spraying
4.  Grill girdling with chemicals
5.  Grass control 
Precautions
1.  Follow guidelines for safe use of pesticides.  (See 
    Pesticide Information).
2.  2-4-D, 2-4-5-T, and Silvex have a low direct toxicity to 
    man, however, some people may be allergic to the chemicals 
    or oil used in the mixtures.  Gloves, goggles, and 
    protective clothing should be available and when there is 
    spray mist in the air, a respirator is desirable.
3.  Keep drift to a minimum, especially in the vicinity of 
    desirable plants and water supplies.
4.  If illness occurs during application and pesticide poisoning 
    is suspected, call a physician immediately.  Know the 
    location of the poison control center nearest you.

    Silvex is not used to a great extent on forestland.
Description of Site Preparation Methods
1.  Foliage-Spraying-applied during July and up to August 15th.  
    Spraying may be done with a hand operated garden-type 
    sprayer on low growing vegetation and shrubbery.  All 
    foliage must be wet thoroughly with a mixture of 2-4-5-T 
    concentrate (4 lb. acid equivalent per gallon) and water.  
    Ratio = 1 part 2-4-5-T to 100 parts water.
2.  Basal-Spraying-applied at any time during the year.  
    Spraying by hand operated garden-type sprayer is desirable 
    to the point of run-off.  The lower 18-24 inches of the 
    stems (up to 4" diameter) must be thoroughly covered with a 
    mixture of 2-4-5-T concentrate and #2 fuel oil.  Ratio = 1 
    part 2-4-5-T to 20 parts fuel oil.  A garden-type spray may 
    be used to apply the mixture.
3.  Frill-Girdling-with chemicals suitable at any time during 
    the year.  A sharp axe is used on the larger stems (4" and 
    up in diameter) to make a deep frill around the tree as 
    close to the ground as is practicable.  The frill and stem 
    portion below the frill are then wet thoroughly with a 
    mixture of 2-4-5-T concentrate and #2 fuel oil.  Ratio = 1 
    part 2-4-5-T to 20 parts fuel oil.  A garden-type spray may 
    be used to apply the mixture.
4.  Cutting and Spraying-applied at any time during the year.  
    Small stems (1-4 inches in diameter) may be cut with saw or 
    axe and close to the ground as is practicable.  The stub is 
    then treated by spraying or painting with a mixture of
    2-4-5-T concentrate and #2 fuel oil.  Ratio = 1 part 2-4-5-T 
    to 20 parts fuel oil.  Note:  Mixtures of 2-4-5-T 
    concentrate must contain at lease four pounds acid 
    equivalent to the gallon.
5.  Grass Control-Survival of tree seedlings in grass sod, 
    especially fescue, is often poor.  Survival can be increased 
    by preplanting treatment with the herbicide, Dalapon.  
    Dalapon should be applied when the fescue begins to grow 
    (usually early April).  Follow label instructions for 
    amounts needed.  Dalapon can also be used as a spot 
    treatment around seedlings in place, but care should be 
    taken not to allow the herbicide to get on seedling foliage.
Description of Available Growing Stock
White Pine occurs naturally throughout mountainous lands of Eastern Kentucky; and will grow on most slopes but does best on eastern and northern slopes and lower western and southern slopes. Needs more moisture than southern yellow pines. Has a tendency to "sit still" until root system grows down deep, 1-3 years, then growth of 1 to 3 feet a year is not uncommon. Growth is rapid on good soil with no apparent erosion. Wood is much in demand for construction purposes, interior trim, box boards, matches, wood carving, and pattern making and many other products. Plant 6 x 7 feet apart. As these trees reach pole size, pruning of lower log of crop trees will be necessary.
Pine, Shortleaf
Native to eastern Kentucky. Grows in poor soil on dry ridges and slopes, often mixed with pitch-pine, does well on good sites also. Wood is superior to Pitch Pine, and is used for interior finish, general construction, paper pulp, excelsior, power light poles, cooperage, mine props, etc. On acid (sandy) soils where top soil is gone, this species may be used instead of black locust to control erosion. Can be planted on all slopes. Mixes well with loblolly pine. Will sometimes sprout after a fire. Plant 4 x 4 feet apart for erosion control or 6 x 7 feet apart for timber production. Fairly rapid growth.
Pine, Virginia
Native to all Kentucky. May be known locally as "Scrub Pine". While growth is slow under most situations, it has the virtue of growing almost anywhere and for this reason, is valuable. Especially good in gullied areas or areas where soil is thin and close to bedrock. Produces structural material and pulpwood. Plant 6 x 7 feet apart for timber production. Fairly rapid growth. Plant 4 x 4 feet for erosion control.
Pine, Scotch
Native to Europe but has become naturalized to this country. Planted in Kentucky for Christmas Tree production. Will grow on the poorer soils, slow growth produces better Christmas Trees. Information available on pruning and shaping. Plant far enough apart to allow machine mowing between trees and rows (reducing weeds and brush allows better tree development). Pruning and shaping are necessary for Christmas Tree production.
Poplar, Yellow
Native to all Kentucky. One of the most valuable trees, prized for construction, furniture parts, poles, veneer, and dimension stock. Does best in mixtures with other trees and requires moist, well drained soils, fairly rich. Should be planted on eastern and northern slopes or lower western and southern. Does not do well on old fields and survivability may be low. Can be mixed with all other hardwoods and pines. Plant 6 x 7 feet apart.
Locust, Black
(Sometimes called Yellow Locust) grows throughout state in all types of soil except swamps and hardpan. Can be planted with all other tree seedlings in mixtures. For production of posts, plant 6 x 7 feet apart. Grows rapidly on good soils having a limestone base or composition. On poor soils, may be attacked by locust borer and may not produce good posts but will hold the soil.
Walnut, Black
Is one of our most valuable trees. Requires fertile soil, moist but well drained. Should not be planted on badly eroded or worn-out land. It is a rapid grower under good conditions. Highly prized for veneer, furniture and cabinet work, gun stocks etc. Its delicious nuts are widely use in cakes, candies, and other confections. Plant 12 x 14 feet apart in open planting or can be planted in random fashion in thin woodlands where soil and moisture permit. An excellent "sinkhole" tree.
Chinese Chestnut and Autumn Olive
These species are available only in limited amounts by prior approval from district office. These shrubs should be planted in yards, orchards, or in moist, well drained woodland openings for ornamentals, as wildlife food, or in the case of the chestnut, for nuts.

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Last revised September 3, 1995.

Please send comments to: Duane Bristow (72711.1414@compuserve.com)