Department of Forestry, Horticulture and Botany
The season of 1891 has been favorable for forest tree growth at the Experiment Station. The oldest planted plats begin to assume something of the nature of trees, and to illustrate characteristics of growth in the different species that seem to indicate their ultimate utility in this region. Observations have been made during the year upon the rate of growth of the different species, more especially with a view to determining what trees will quickest form leaf canopy and thus require least cultivation. This is a matter of supreme importance to the farmer tree planter unlike the nurseryman, or the forester, the farmer's tree planting must, in the nature of his vocation be one of many operations and it is usually the last to receive attention. In a very excellent bulletin recently issued from the Forestry Division of the Department of Agriculture on “What is Forestry?" Chief of Division Fernow proposes as an experiment to simply break the sod in June, and sow millet or oats thickly to make a close stand; this will secure a return for the labor of breaking. The millet should be cut with a high stubble, which may be expected to catch the winter snow, keep down weed-growth, and act as a mulching the next season. Plant next spring as early as possible, in trenches, without disturbing the ground between trenches and most likely cultivation will not be necessary the first season, while the second season, with our dense planting, the trees should be able to help themselves." This method is suggested more for the Sand Hill region of Nebraska than for localities having a stiff clay subsoil. It is certainly very different from our ordinary practices, and if successful generally should act as a great impetus to tree planting, as it reduces the work to a minimum. The reason why it is introduced here, is not to recommend it, but only to indicate a fundamental principle in forest planting: the necessity of securing a shade for the ground at the earliest possible moment. So far as the method suggested by Prof. Fernow is concerned, it would seem impracticable in this state, where the grasses quickly take uncultivated ground, and where the ordinary rainfall is not sufficient to insure the vigorous growth trees would have to make to overcome the grasses and weeds. However, it is an experiment easily tried, and planters would get some interesting experience by devoting a small plat to the work.
forestry, diseases, fungus, fungi
South Dakota Agricultural College and Experiment Station
Keffer, C.A. and Williams, T.A., "Forestry and Fungi" (1891). Research Bulletins of the South Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station (1887-2011). 29.