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What is Forestry Mulching? - Open Education Online

What is Forestry Mulching?

Forestry mulching is the process of using a machine to grind up vegetation and other organic materials into small pieces. This material can then be used as mulch or compost. Forestry mulching is a great way to clear land quickly and efficiently, and it can also provide valuable nutrients for your garden or landscaping project.

If you are considering forestry mulching for your property, it is important to understand the process and what it can do for you. Forestry mulching can be an effective way to manage vegetation, especially if you have a large area to clear. However, it is also important to be aware of the potential risks and benefits before starting any project. In this article, we will discuss some of the key points to consider before beginning forestry mulching on your land.

Benefits

One of the biggest advantages of forestry mulching is that it can help you reduce the amount of time and effort required to clear your land. If you have a large area of land that needs to be cleared, mulching can save you a significant amount of time and effort. Additionally, mulching can also help you reduce the amount of debris that is left behind after the project is completed. This can make it easier to clean up your property and keep it looking its best.

Another advantage of forestry mulching is that it can help improve the quality of your soil. When organic materials are ground up and used as mulch, they can add nutrients and improve the structure of your soil. This can lead to healthier plants and a more productive garden. In addition, mulching can also help to control weeds and pests. By reducing the amount of vegetation that is present, you can create a more hospitable environment for beneficial insects and animals.

Risks

However, there are some potential disadvantages to forestry mulching that you should be aware of before starting your project. One of the biggest potential risks is that mulching can actually damage your soil. If you do not properly prepare your soil before beginning your project, you could end up harming the roots of your plants or causing other damage to your property. Additionally, if you do not have the proper equipment, you could end up damaging your mulch or compost.

When done correctly, forestry mulching can be an extremely beneficial way to manage your land. However, it is important to understand the potential risks and benefits before beginning your project. By taking the time to learn about these factors, you can make sure that you are able to safely and effectively use forestry mulching on your property.

Why do Forestry Mulching?

When you need to clear an area of land, whether for construction purposes or simply to create more space, forestry mulching is an effective and eco-friendly option. Also known as brush mowing, this method of land clearing involves using a heavy-duty machine to grind up trees, shrubs, and other vegetation. The resulting mulch is then left on site, providing natural nutrients and fertility to the soil. Forestry mulching also helps control erosion and can improve drainage in the affected area. Here are a few more applications of Forestry Mulching.

Plant Population Control

This may mean control of Invasive plant species as well. Certain species of plant might need to be controlled or discouraged for many reasons such as high nutrient consumption, high water requirements, or high pest attacks. All of these may deplete the ecosystem, reduce timber quality and so on. Examples of invasive plants are buckthorn and salt cedar. Pine beetle is an example of invasive pests. Using forestry mulching for this purpose helps to create only specific destruction, leaving economically important species as untouched as possible.

Conservation of Nature

To conserve nature, government, NGOs, companies, ministries, and private organizations have resorted to forestry mulching. Some of the popular animals at the heart of these people or entities are deer, doves, and elk.

Clearing of Land Space

Forestry mulching is a great method applied in land clearing preparation and development for domestic and commercial purposes. Projects such as real estate, recreational parks and nature reserves can be achieved through forestry mulching.

Road Construction and Town Planning

Certain projects which require total uprooting of trees, stumps and other vegetations can be achieved through forestry mulching. Examples of such projects are road construction, pipeline laying, town planning or layout, railway, highway, and road mapping.

Prevention of Natural Disaster

Natural disaster such as forest wildfire can be prevented with forestry mulching, intervening at three different levels as seen below.

  • Proactive System: This is a preventive system which is used to clean up sprouted leafy plants, collapsed or decomposing trees and stumps, and other materials that may serve as fuel or trigger for fire incidents. Most of these materials are like ticking time bombs that may create or assist forest fires in form of ladders to the treetops.
  • Reactive Mulching: This is a control measure that arrests fire incidents to quench and prevent spread by breaking the lines of active fires. This is cost effective when you consider the cost of cleaning up after a fire.
  • Post-Incident Mulching: Also known as clean up, post-incident mulching cleans up after a fire incident. The special tractor, mulcher and other coupled implements are used to bed the soil top against erosion.

Gains of Forestry mulching

Soil Preservation

Forestry mulching preserves the topsoil from leeching off because of erosion. Mulches also add nutrients to the soil via decomposition. This is better than traditional systems that mostly disturb the soil arrangement and even cause erosion.

Efficiency

Forestry mulchers give room for efficiency of work that may not be gotten via traditional means. Certain topography, soil structure, land sizes and weather conditions do not support traditional methods but can be easily maneuvered with forestry mulching systems.

Direct Application

Forestry mulching effectively applies to targeted plants without disturbing the useful plants, soil, and the ecosystem.

Time Conservation

Like every other mechanized activity, forestry mulching saves time compared to the traditional methods. More work is done in shorter time, giving room for economic improvement at the long run. Broken down processes such as felling, cutting, brushing, clearing etc., which used to take longer days are being done within shorter time frame.

Economy

Forestry mulching reduces tendency to rely on much larger machines such as bulldozer and reduces the number of equipment needed. With most basic forestry mulcher, one may need only one machine all through, reducing emission, combustion, and fuel consumption.

Shortfalls of Forestry Mulching

Forestry mulching is most undoubtedly of great socioeconomic advantage in the world of agriculture, building and urbanization. There are however some disadvantages of forestry mulching.

Land Area

Even when using the biggest forestry mulching machines, there is a limitation to the size of land mass that can be operated on. For landmass larger than twenty-five tons vegetation cover or one hundred trees per acre, forestry mulching is ineffective.

Road Network

Despite the efficiency and time conservation experienced with forestry mulching      system compared to traditional method, it can be laborious using in a forest or vegetation without sufficient road network or routes for fuel and maintenance.

Obstructive Soil Structure

Some soil structure is extremely rocky and stony which can be a disadvantage when operating forestry mulchers. Such rocks and stones get in the way of equipment and leading to rapid wear and tear of parts. Invasion of these particles can also lead to small accidents if they fly around, hitting operators or house structures.

Tree Size Limitations

Most forestry mulchers can only remove smaller trees because of the size and shape of the mulching head. For trees that fall in the diameter range of six to eight inches one must use mulching heads that rotate vertically while mulchers that rotate horizontally will cut trees with up to thirty inches diameter. Mulching trees outside of these brackets can be disastrous.

Significant Differences between Forestry Mulching and Traditional Mulching

Forestry Mulching

Traditional Land Clearing

Cost effective at the long run High cost and expensive
Naturally controls erosion. There is need for additional control of erosion such as catch basins and silt fencing.
Burning, chipping, or hauling is not required. Requires burning, chipping, burying, and hauling.
It has a visual appeal The sight is unappealing
The result is more ecosystem friendly by recycling biomass It does not recycle biomass
Does not require permit often Permit often required
Works in most weathers Weather selective

 

 

 

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