Planting and tending productivity comparison in mounds and disc trenches using containerized and bareroot coniferous seedlings
Latvian State Forest Research Institute "Silava", 111 Riga street, LV–2169 Salaspils, Latvia
In 2016 more then 40,300 ha of forest was regenerated in Latvia, where 13,000 ha were seeded or planted and 30,300 ha were left in natural regeneration. Before planting, usually one of two soil preparation methods are used – mounding or disc trenching. In areas with optimal water regime, disc trenching is used, while in wet areas mounding is used. Tree planting and after planting tending is done manually by hand tools. The aim of the study was to compare planting and tending productivity in different soil preparation methods (mounding and disc trenching) by planting different stocktypes (containerized and bareroot seedlings). Planting time studies were done in 12 sites and tending time studies in 8 sites. In planting time studies, different planting operations were measured and compared. In tending time studies, GPS devices were used, where area, distance and working time (productive and rest) was counted from GPS data. Average planting time for containerized seedlings in disc trenches was 10.3 seconds, while in mounds 9.2 seconds per seedling, an 11% improvement. Average planting time for bareroot seedlings in mounds was 28.3 seconds, while in trenches – 18.2 seconds, a 35% improvement. Tending in trenches was done faster than in mounds. On average, one hectare tending time in mounds was 8.4 hours, while in trenches 7.4 hours, an 11% improvement. Walked distance for 1 hectare tending in mounds was 5.4 km, 7% shorter than the distance of 5.0 km in trenches. Factors that influence planting and tending productivity are soil preparation quality, logging residue, and water level on the site. Data from planting and tending time studies could be used for better plan work activities and select suitable planting material for a particular soil preparation method.