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Briquette Method of Reafforestation

Nature volume 130, page 395 (10 September 1932) | Download Citation



A SOMEWHAT novel method of sowing tree seeds is alluded to by Prof. Svend Heiberg, of the Department of Sylviculture of the New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse, in a Science Service Bulletin, dated June 29. Prof. Heiberg has been studying forestry methods in Europe, and was interested in a new type of seed-sowing developed in Norway which he terms “planting forests by the brick instead of by the tree”. The seed bricks or briquettes are made of good soil and are 1½ in. x 1½ in. in size. Three or four seeds are placed at one end, near the surface. The briquette is then dipped in paraffin wax, except the side in which the seeds have been placed. The result is an easily transported product, which can be placed in the ground by means of a special tool designed for the purpose. A machine can turn out 16,000 briquettes in a day. Prof. Heiberg suggests that the idle lands of the United States may be reafforested by planting briquettes instead of trees. He has been experimenting with this new system of planting or sowing at the College, but has not yet had time to decide upon its successful possibilities. He realises that the method would only be practicable on bare land free of heavy weed growth. In the absence of any figures of cost and of data of success achieved, it is not possible to compare the cost of the method with ordinary broadcasting or patch sowing; but Prof. Heiberg is probably correct to a point in stating that “In the reafforestation of comparatively clear fields the briquette system will do away with tree nurseries. It has other important advantages. It permits the root system to develop normally and also avoids disturbance of the roots at the time of planting”—though these latter apply to all tree seed-sowing.

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