SREL Reprint #2457




Successful planting of tree seedlings in wet areas

William H. Conner, Kenneth W. McLeod, L. Wayne lnabinette, Victor H. Parrish, and Michael R. Reed

Baruch Forest Science Institute, Georgetown, SC
Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, SC

Abstract: Restoration of former cypress/tupelo swamp areas in the southeastern United States usually calls for planting seedlings in standing water. Standard techniques of planting with a dibble or shovel are difficult and time-consuming. Therefore, new techniques of planting are required. We have been planting baldcypress (Taxodium distichum [L.] Rich.), water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica L.), and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marsh.) at various flooded sites in South Carolina and Louisiana by several methods. One method was to simply grasp the seedling at the root collar and push them into the soil, after heavily pruning the lateral roots. Other methods included planting of commercial balled and burlap seedlings and similar homemade planting units. These were planted on the sediment surface and allowed to "settle" into the sediment over time. Excellent results have been obtained with root-pruned and balled and burlap baldcypress, while green ash was most sensitive to root pruning and water depth. Water tupelo was intermediate in response. In addition, tree shelters have been tested to see how well they protect seedlings from herbivory and increase early growth of seedlings. Tree shelters do reduce herbivory but do not eliminate it. Early growth is increased, but there are indications that non-tree shelter trees may catch up in height growth in later years.

SREL Reprint #2457

Conner, W. H., K. W. McLeod, L. W. Inabinette, V. H. Parrish, and M. R. Reed. 1999. Successful planting of tree seedlings in wet areas. pp. 201-204 In: J. D. Haywood (Ed.). Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research. USDA Forest Service, Asheville, N.C.

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