After completion of logging in the coastal forests of British Columbia, it is common to burn the slash and expose mineral soil to encourage conifer growth. In heavy rainfall areas the lack of drying weather and the rapid regrowth of herbaceous and shrub plants make it difficult to achieve a good burn prior to reforesting the site. To overcome this problem it was decided to desiccate the herbaceous vegetation with a herbicide several weeks before the slash burn. Since there had been no previous operational experience in the coastal region of B.C. a trial of a herbicidal spray was undertaken in the Atlatzi River Drainage in the summer of 1972.
The Atlatzi River lies approximately 190 miles N.W. of Vancouver, 80 miles due east of the northern tip of Vancouver Island and 12 miles N.E. of Kingcome Inlet Village. The drainape was logged between 1968 and 1971 and slash burns were not successful. The clearcuts were soon covered with salmonberry, elderberry and fireweed and the probability of the drainage becoming naturally restocked with trees within the next five years was considered to be too low to depend upon. The most southern part of the area was planted with 2-0 fir in 1969 but owing to brush competition the plantation was a failure.
The herbicide "Quardsman Ester Brushkiller" (2,4-D and 2, 4, 5-T) was used to desiccate the veqetation with a broadcast burn to follow. The combination of chemical and fire prepared the site excellently at reasonable cost.
Other results showed that:
A. Water contamination by the herbicide was one part per billion.
B. Total cost of site preparation was $66 per hectare ($26.75 per acre) in 1972.
C. Seedling survival two years after planting was 75%.
It was concluded from this trial that herbicides are useful in forest site preparation work in heavy rainfall areas. If proper precautions are taken, the chemical should have very little detrimental effect on the environment.
Detailed information on this subject may be obtained by writing to the District Forester. B.C. Forest Service. 355 Burrard Street. Vancouver. B.C. V6C 2Hl for a xerox copy of the In-Service report by F.T. Pend1 entitled "Desiccation of Brush with Herbicides".
[Abstract contains full text of memo.]
BC Forest Service - Research Division. 1976. Forest site preparation by dessication of brush with herbicides. British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Research Memo (FLNRORD). RM6
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: FLNRORD, Research Memo, British Columbia
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