Site of the Frederick County Forest Conservancy District Board, Frederick Maryland

Field trials

The FCFB has utilized the MD Forest Service forestry related field trials at the Monocacy Natural Resources Management Area (MNRMA) and at Stronghold as an excellent instructive site for some of its field classes and tours offered to the public.  This page contains documentation of field trials started in 2004. Below are introductions to each of the field trials and a link to download the complete document (including photographs). The documents are available in PDF format.

 
Black walnut, red oak, and green ash trees being planted for study. 

Tree Growth Field Trial at Monocacy NRMA

1st Season, 2004

Beginning in the spring of 2004 a Tree Growth field trial program has been in effect at the Monocacy Natural Resources Management Area in Southern Frederick County.  The purpose of the study is to conduct four popular methods of growing seedlings and measures certain parameters such as cost of establishment, maintenance cost, seedling survival, condition of trees, and growth and development of the seedlings. The four methods of seedling planting were:  Planting trees at a 10’ x 10’ spacing or (436 trees per acre) in a deer fence enclosure (Area A).  Planting trees at a 10’ x 10’ spacing (436 trees per acre) placing 4.5’ tall tree shelters on 50% of the trees (Area B).  Planting trees at a 5’ x 10’ spacing (871 trees per acre) without any protective devices (Area C).  Planting trees at a 20’ x 20’ spacing (109 trees per acre) placing 4.5’ tall tree shelters on 100% of the trees (Area D). A 12-acre upland site, which had been in agriculture, was chosen for this project.  We established 1-acre plots with each tree growing strategy and duplicated the plots so there was an A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2.  The field had been in a soybean crop so it was pretty clean when we began our field trial.  In March of 2004 we planted a cover crop of 25 lbs. oats and 5 lbs. or white clover as a cover crop.  A commercial tree-planting contractor used the machine planting method to plant the trees.  We planted black walnut, red oak, and green ash in distinct rows for this study.

 

 Tree Seedlings Establishment and Cost Estimates under Different Planting Spacing With or Without Protection

2nd Season, 2005

Introduction: Many acres of deciduous trees have been planted throughout Maryland as a result of incentive programs like Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) and others. Numerous planting schemes and seedling protection methods have been adopted to conduct these plantings. The most common deciduous seedling spacing is 10’x10’, although other planting spacings including 8’x 8’, 8’ x 12’, 12’x12’ and 20’x20’ are being employed. Tree shelters are becoming a common seedling shielding method, while deer fencing and repellents are employed to a lesser extent. Tree shelters are usually installed on at least 50% of the seedlings when trees are planted at 10’x10’ spacing. The percentage of shelters employed can be as high as 100% given the available funding and other factors affecting the planting, like location, species planted, and the intent of planting.  This project will evaluate common tree planting systems by conducting the practice and measuring such parameters as (a) seedling survival, b) seedling growth, (c) cost of establishment, and (d) maintenance cost.  Four planting schemes were adopted for this field trial: (a) Planting seedlings at a 10’ x 10’ spacing utilizing tree shelters on 50% of the seedlings or every other seedling.  (b) Planting seedlings at a 10’ x 10’ spacing enclosing the planting area in deer fencing.  (c) Planting at a 4’ x 10’ spacing without employing tree shelters.  (d) Planting at a 20’ x 20’ spacing sheltering all of the seedlings.

 

Tree Growth Field Trial at Monocacy Natural Resources Management Area
3rd Season, 2006

A seedling growth field trial was initiated at Monocacy NRMA in 2004 to monitor the development and survival of seedlings under four different growing conditions namely, growing without any type of protection, growing in tree shelters at a 10’ x 10’ and 20’ x 20’ spacing, and growing inside deer fencing.  The purpose of this study is to examine and record such parameters as seedling growth and development, survival, cost of establishment and expenses associated with subsequent maintenance practices. This information is collected each year in late October at the end of the growing season. A comprehensive article outlining the study was posted last year on this website.  The purpose of this article is to provide an update for the 2006 growing season.

 

Tree Growth Field Trial at Monocacy Natural Resources Management Area
4th Season, 2007
By:  Hailu Sharew and Mike Kay

A seedling growth field trial was initiated at Monocacy NRMA in 2004 to monitor the development and survival of seedlings under four different growing conditions namely, growing without any type of protection, growing in tree shelters at a 10’ x 10’ and 20’ x 20’ spacing, and growing inside deer fencing.  The purpose of this study is to examine and record such parameters as seedling growth and development, survival, cost of establishment and expenses associated with subsequent maintenance practices. This information is recorded; and, the final growth and survival measurements are collected each year in late October, at the end of the growing season. In October, 2007 we conducted the fourth and final measurements for this study.  The following article summarizes our observations.