Site Preparation (SIP)
The term Site Preparation is used to describe disturbance of the forest floor by mechanical or chemical means, or by prescribed burning, to create suitable conditions for natural or artificial regeneration.
- Dominant method of site preparation in the Mazinaw-Lanark Forest is by mechanical means using either slash-rake or bulldozer with straight blade.
- Standard objective is to expose mineral soil on 60% of the treated area with minimum soil displacement by rearranging slash into small dispersed piles. This creates access for tree planting or seedbed for natural regeneration, while slowing down the recapture of the site by some of the common competitors (poplar, red maple, ironwood). Slash piles and woody debris are used by wildlife. [treated area]
- Additional form of site preparation specific to the Mazinaw-Lanark Forest is Enhanced Harvest, which involves harvesting equipment in the removal of small diameter unmerchantable trees, usually overabundant in the understory, in order to facilitate subsequent mechanical site preparation and reduce competition in favour of desirable species. [treated area]
- Chemical site preparation is used in the Mazinaw-Lanark Forest on less than 10% of the site prepared area. This reflects the logistical limitation of chemical treatment on very small, dispersed sites with challenging topography, access and land ownership issues as well as the need to consider potential damage to pre-existing natural regeneration (e.g. red oak, white pine, hemlock), scheduling conflicts with Species At Risk protection and the availability of small scale chemical treatment contractors. Typical treatment involves ground broadcast of glyphosate based herbicides. For the reasons listed above and in keeping with established tradition aerial spraying of herbicides is not practiced in this management unit.
- Prescribed Burning (PB) is recognized as a valid, “close-to-nature” method of site preparation, sometimes also used for tending of fire adjusted species (e.g. oak). Most recent PB in the Mazinaw-Lanark Forest was implemented on a small scale in 2011 to encourage red oak regeneration. Future use of this treatment remains uncertain because of the treatment cost, various risks and availability of contractors.