Forestneeds

July 31, 2007

Totara Element Concentrations: Beginnings

Filed under: Accessability — shem kerr @ 12:33 pm

Typical annual stem diametre increments of around 10mm dont bode well for totara’s success as a commercial forestry crop. At a recent Northland Totara Working Group field day. Randal Austen told of annual stem diametre increments of 20mm after (non-targeted) application of superphosphate. We might ask what gains could come from targeted nutrient application; or even what proportions of what elements the tree uses. I suspect that certain factors in how totara has come to fill its ecological or evolutionary niche, means that it has higher resource needs than some other trees. The essential oils it produces also puts it in a high durability class, with perhaps similar needs as the durable cypresses or eucalypts. However, if nutrient availability is low, growth might also be low and tree form and health may be inferior. Open grown totara typically has lots of big branches and often is multi-leadered. The generally accepted theory is that having tightly spaced totara trees is the main foctor in producing clear stems. Sure, inter-tree competion and both light and wind sheltering are important in tree form, as is genetics. as is nutrition. My own observations around the North Island of New Zealand are that in at least some districts totara health and/or form is less than optimal, with multiple leaders and a predominance of high angled branches even on closely grown forest stands; foliage yellower or bronzier and sparser than need be; and I am left with a suspicion concerning insufficient rooting extent. This leads me to believe that intelligent additions of nutrients are part of the answer to impovement in health and form . Knowing what the tree is up to would be a big help in planning nutrient delivery. However, there has been no published studies on totara physiological processes; nor data on nutrient use within the tree. So, I got Hills Laboratories in Hamilton to analyse my trees and soil. It is an argicultural testing lab, so the soil test is for available nutrients rather than total element amounts within the sample. I will be getting another lab to tell me the totals; and plan to have samples from some more vigorous totara from elsewhere analysed.The stem sample was from the darkest pinky brown, 50mm from the centre of the trunks, the closest that I could get to true heartwood. The ‘foliage included the last 12 months branchlet growth as well as the needles, so it probably also represented a sapwood mix.It may have been bettter to have stripped the needles off the branchlets and had the 2 samples analysed separately. I also havent yet had an analysis of heartwood; that should be on the list of to dos. In the mean time the data below is a start and may help a little in understanding what totara is up to with resource allocation. I have a tentative opinion, however, I’d prefer to see some other comments before I do.

Soil

pH …………………5.3
Olsen P (mg/L)… 5
K (me/100g) …….0.52
Ca (me/100g)…… 2.1
Mg (me/100g)……2.34
Na (me/100g)…… 0.25
CEC 15
Base saturation K 3.5 Ca 14 Mg 15.8 Na 1.7
B (mg/kg) ………………1.2
P (Melich3) (mg/L) …..5
Fe (Melich3) (mg/L) 283
Mn (Melich3) (mg/L) 14.1
Zn (Melich3) (mg/L)… 0.81
Cu (Melich3) (mg/L)… 0.5
B (Melich3) (mg/L) …<0.5
Co (Melich3) (mg/L) 0,1

Al (Melich3)……….1480

Foliage ………………………………………………………………………Stem
N…. 0.9 %……………………………………………………………………… 0.2 %
P…. 0.1 %………………………………………………………………………. 0.02 %
K ….1.1 % ……………………………………………………………………….0.1 %
S…. 0.09 %…………………………………………………………………….. 0.02 %
Ca… 1.71 % ……………………………………………………………………..0.17 %
Mg.. 0.15 %…………………………………………………………………….. 0.02 %
Na.. 0.04 %……………………………………………………………………… 0.01 %

Fe (mg/kg) …74 …………………………………………………………….196
Mn (mg/kg) 130……………………………………………………………….. 9
Zn (mg/kg) …13……………………………………………………………….. 7
Cu (mg/kg)      3………………………………………………………………. 4
B (mg/kg) …..17 ……………………………………………………………….3
Mo (mg/kg) ….0.08…………………………………………………………… 0.07
Co (mg/kg)….. 0.22 ……………………………………………………………0.25
Se (mg/kg)…… 0.04…………………………………………………………… 0.01
Al(mg/kg) ….100 ……………………………………………………………/287

November 20, 2006

Field Day Reclamation: Paengaroa: Welcome Bay; Waitara

 

 

Just got in. Logbook says 855.3 km. I’ll put up the thumbnails temporarily placed first, then get back to the field day issues.

Ok, had to have a bath; eat; then had to sleep; then needed to work. Now i can get back to down-sizing the photos and uploading them. Just noticed that there’s a new way of handling photos on my dashboard – I have to get my head around that. If you click on the thumbnail then it should come up bigger along with a caption. You can click on the bigger picture to see it even bigger.

Family farm forestry
Farm forestry Reid Road Welcome Bay Flying-fox over pond Welcome Bay

(more…)

November 14, 2006

Nutrient Denial

Filed under: Accessability — shem kerr @ 8:45 am

Internal rates of return from intelligent application of nutrients to timber crops are typically in the range of 15 to 40%. Yet, comment from growers deride or pour scorn on the practice.

“We dont fertilize trees round here. Either they grow or they dont.” (more…)

July 7, 2006

Accessability to Group Activities

Filed under: Accessability,Forestneeds_Notices — shem kerr @ 11:16 am

Mechanisms that enable and protect the disabled or otherwise disadvantaged, help the group as a whole. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it will benefit all of the interests of all members, as there are some who will manipulate and take advantage of situations of disfunction – situations that include where:

the rules aren’t known or are insufficient to protect and enable;

leaders effectively hide or bar group information from discussion;

the activities are framed in a way that excludes part, even a majority, of the membership.

l

Farming and forestry based groups are good example groups because of the kind of attitudes involved, and the nature of the interest. The proximity of life and death situations within an unpredictable environment encourages an ad hoc approach to decision making. Conferences and field days can be remote and physically and financially demanding. These activities are pretty much full on physically and mentally – and those who do get to participate have a multi-sensory learning experience. From that perspective, documentation as more than shorthand notes or advertising is seen as unnecessary. Discussion further down the track is also treated in a compressed way. The 90% of members who dont get to that event are effectively excluded from subsequent discussion. In time a small core of members is created that has ‘all’ the knowledge; they are seen as indispensable; they do all the organizing; – the membership at large appear disinterested – therefore information isn’t given, even withheld – a divisive situation builds and the group becomes disfunctional.

Today there is no technological excuse for not documenting and communicating group information. Documenting and communicating provides accessability. This website is an example of how a grower group can provide accessability and do it economically without needing IT skills, or a even members with average or higher iqs. Some references to Content Management Software (CMS), and Computer ( ) are listed on the Accessability page of the Special Needs List of this blog; as should be reference to meeting organisation.

l

June 13, 2006

Sexiness in Forestry Science

Filed under: Accessability,Forestry Research,Timber Growing — shem kerr @ 1:59 am

SawmillHandcartSome would expect that science is scientific.

Hold on.

Those doing the work are creatures of evolutionary biology. OK, so you’re a creationist. Get over it, let’s just all go along with these scientists’ preference for evolution and see where it puts them. Below the scientific facade lurks the selfish gene. Charles Darwin’s theory along with subsequent research basically states that the best mate is the one that can afford to spend the most resources on uselessness. Given a disability such as the peacocks’ tail or the Irish elks’ antlers, it is the animal with the biggest appendage, the one that is the biggest drag on resources and a threat to survival, that is the most sexually attractive. When it comes to the sexiest forestry scientist, it is the one with the most useless research project. Add on evolutionary biology’s essential tools of deception and what we used to call psychopathy, and things get real sexy. When a scientist asks for funding for a research project, what are the criteria for judging if it holds value for forestry science, or if it’s just some guy getting his jollies? (more…)

May 11, 2006

Forest farming Special Needs List example laid out

Filed under: Accessability — shem kerr @ 11:28 am

Approaches to forestry, Solid timber production (growing), Continuing education, and Accessability are included so far in this list. Species groups include Cypresses, mainly Cupressus and Sequoia; and deciduous hardwoods. The list covers what any particular species is, how it lives, how it gets along with others; the people who use forest products, and what they’re expecting; and how growers can look after their forest well to match the needs of all. Although still in construction phase, the present state of the list should give some idea of its potential and where it’s headed. Further information is on the About page, and on the list itself.

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