Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Cover the ground with straw after tree planting Forest Conservation

Key messages

  • One replicated, randomized, controlled study in the Czech Republic found that covering the ground with straw, but not bark or fleece, increased the growth rate of planted trees and shrubs.

 

Supporting evidence from individual studies

1 

A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2000-2005 in temperate broadleaf woodland in the Czech Republic (1) found that covering the ground with straw mulch increased the growth rate of planted trees and shrubs, but covering with bark or fleece mulches did not. Five years after planting, the average growth of trees and shrubs was higher with straw mulch (226 cm) than with bark mulch (124 cm), fleece mulch (100 cm) or no mulch (80 cm). In 2000, seedlings of a mixture of 128 tree and 190 shrub species were planted in each of four 600 m2 plots. Each plot was divided into four 150 m2 subplots that were randomly assigned to four treatments: straw mulch (planting and covering the whole area with a 0.3 m layer of straw mulch); bark mulch (planting in a previously established grassland and applying a 0.2 m layer of fresh bark in 0.4 m rows); fleece mulch (planting in a previously established grassland and applying layers of 0.4 m wide synthetic fleece in rows); no mulch (planting in a previously established grassland). Plants were measured in 2005.

 

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Agra, H., Schowanek, S., Carmel, Y., Smith, R.K. & Ne’eman, G. (2017) Forest Conservation. Pages 285-328 in:W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2017. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.