Current issue: 54(2)
The aim of the study was to update the information pertaining to mechanized tree-planting activity in Finland in 2013 and its success factors. All businesses providing a mechanized tree-planting service were interviewed and asked to describe their equipment and activities, identify critical success factors (CSFs), and suggest areas for improvement. In 2013, 31 planting machines (18 Bracke P11.a, 11 M-Planter and 2 Risutec) operated by 22 businesses planted approximately 4.7 million seedlings on 2663 hectares. CSFs included expertise of planting machine operators, high quality planting, adequate amount of work, stoniness, and removal of slash. Based on the survey, some recommendations for improving mechanized planting work can be made. Firstly, improving the cost-efficiency of mechanized planting is necessary to enhance businesses’ profitability. Secondly, worksite selection is crucial as stoniness, stumps and slash debris diminish productivity. Lastly, the popularity of mechanized planting in the future will benefit from more marketing. Many businesses were unwilling to increase the area of service, invest in new equipment, or increase the volume of planting work but they believed that mechanized planting will become more popular in the near future.
The use of a white-rot fungus, Chondrostereum purpureum (Pers. Ex Fr.) Pouzar, as a biocontrol agent against sprouting has been studied with good results. The aim of the study was to investigate the efficacy of two pre-commercial thinning machines, Tehojätkä and Mense, to spread an inoculum of C. purpureum as a biocontrol agent on freshly cut birch (Betula pendula Roth and B. pubescens Ehrh.), European aspen (Populus tremula L.), rowan (Sorbus aucuparia L.), and goat willow (Salix caprea L.) stumps (the fungal treatment) and compare that to the control (cutting only, done by Tehojätkä). Efficacy was investigated in terms of stump mortality and the number of sprouts per stump. This study was conducted in one stand and sprouting was investigated for three years after treatment. The fungal treatment resulted in higher mortality of stumps (34.0% for Tehojätkä and 41.5% for Mense after three years), compared to the control (13.4%). However, the fungal treatment did not decrease the number of sprouts per stump compared to the control. The low occurrence of basidiomata indicates that the accuracy of the spreading mechanism was not satisfactory, causing low mortality figures for the fungal treatment compared to previous studies. In the future, this mechanized method may provide a promising alternative in sprout control if the spreading mechanisms, the accuracy of the treatment, and consequently the efficacy could be improved.