The following key to planting and vegetation management is based on over 30 years of combined field experience in Itasca, St Louis, and Cook Counties in northern Minnesota. Consequently, its usage should be tempered with field experience from other regions but, nonetheless, it serves as a useful basis for decision making in managing red pine for a variety of objectives.
Consider the following when using this key:
- Stockability refers to the stocking potential of a site in terms of planting area. That is, the site conditions that affect planting chance. Some examples are shallow soils and soils with exposed bedrock, or sites with small wetlands, all of which are common in the northern Lake States and preclude the possibility of high levels of stocking.
- It is assumed that planting levels determine a management intensity or goal, and the guidelines listed are intended to maximize survival of planted stock. High intensity management implies a primary goal of maximum fiber and wood product production in a plantation setting. Low intensity implies habitat or recreation management goals, including mixed-species management.
- Definitions are:
- Delay – delay treatment in the next growing season
- Reassess – reevaluate during the next growing season
- Release – removal of undesirable species
- Weed – thorough removal of competition of all sizes
- Liberate – remove individuals overtopping desirable species
- Fill plant - add to existing stocking by inter-planting
- Re-plant - ignore existing seedlings and begin stand over
- To use the Decision Support Key, start with the first pair of numbered statements (start with statement pair number 1) and choose the statement that best describes your goal or situation. Follow this statement to a number, to a recommendation, or to a number and a recommendation. If a number is given, find the corresponding pair of statements and continue the process until a final recommendation is reached.