Backyard Conservation: Bringing Conservation from the Countryside to Your Backyard

There are nearly 2 billion acres of land in the conterminous United States. About 70 percent of that land is privately owned and its care is in the hands of those who live and work on it. Most of that land, 1.4 billion acres, is managed by farmers and ranchers. More than 92 million acres of land—an area the size of California—is privately developed and much of it is tended by homeowners. Farmers and ranchers use conservation plans to help them apply practices that meet their production objectives and protect soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources. You may want to develop a plan for your own backyard to help you apply conservation measures that fit your needs. Or maybe, for now, you’d like to try just a few of the activities in this book.

A Guide to the Care and Planting of Southern Pine Seedlings

Despite constantly improving reforestation technology, many public and private forestry organizations report declines in early survival in southern pine plantations. Experienced managers have come to expect lower survival than they were used to 20 to 30 years ago, and they are seeing failures that cannot be attributed to insects, diseases, or adverse weather. The most common reasons for these failures are breakdowns in what can be thought of as the "reforestation system." At various points between the nursery bed and the field planting site, seedlings are "critically wounded" by events that workers consider to be insignificant. Combinations of these "insignificant events" add up to poor seedling survival or complete plantation failure.

Measuring Survival and Planting Quality in New Pine Plantations

Thousands of acres of new pine plantations are established across the southern United States each year. Unfortunately, some of these plantations are considered failures for timber production once survival drops below 300 trees per acre. A question often asked is, “How do I determine the number of good seedlings per acre?” The goal of this publication is to provide landowners with an easy-to-use sampling technique to evaluate a new pine plantation.

Planting Your New Stewardship Forest

Are you getting ready to plant your land in trees following a recent harvest, land purchase, or inheritance? This publication explains how simple changes in planting design can benefit wildlife, timber, and plant diversity… and your bottom line. Your rewards can be great and last for decades; all it takes is a little planning before the first tree goes into the ground.

Tree Planting Guide

Most homeowners plant trees for their beauty, but a well-situated tree also can reduce energy costs by shading a house from the sun’s rays in summer and providing shelter from harsh winter winds. They act as noise buffers, and provide homes for wildlife, making your home a more pleasant place to live. Proper selection and planting are critical to ensure your new tree’s long-term survival. This guide will help you select and plant trees.

Tree Planting Procedure for Small, Bare-Root Seedlings

Tree seedlings receive foremost care while growing in a managed nursery: fertile soil; ample moisture; and weed, insect and disease control. Lifting seedlings out of this comfort zone shocks them. If key steps are not carefully followed during handling and planting, mortality rate rises. Both hardwood and pine seedling survival is more likely if attention is given to the points made in this publication.

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