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This Bulletin describes how foresters can use cultivation to provide a favourable site for tree survival and growth. A guiding principle is to work within the limitations of the site and to appreciate the effects of cultivation upon the microsite and the wider forest environment. The wide range of cultivation techniques now available means that there can be no universal prescription and cultivation will not be appropriate in all circumstances. The forest manager can use this guide to formulate prescriptions and select techniques appropriate to different site types and environmental considerations. In outlining options, the recommendations favour those techniques that present the least risk of damage and which best promote rooting patterns favourable to the stability of trees and stands. Understanding the usefulness of different types of cultivation is critical to the efficient and sustainable management of the forest estate in Britain. Section 1 covers the impacts of cultivation on site conditions (soil and air temperature, soil moisture, bulk density and nutrients). It also considers effects on the environment (landscape, archaeology, soil, flora, fauna, etc.), and discusses the effects of cultivation on tree survival, growth, yield and stability. Section 2 considers a range of factors that influence the choice of an appropriate cultivation technique. Site characteristics and proposed woodland type are discussed. Cultivation recommendations for the major soil groups are given. The advantages and disadvantages of various cultivation techniques are discussed and guidance given on the selection of appropriate machinery. Finally, an economic evaluation of the benefits of cultivation is presented.


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Soil science
Publication owner
Forestry Commission