EVALUATION OF SITE FOR PLANTATION PURPOSES
The most important features of the site are those which will determine whether a particular area or patch should be taken up for planting at all, and then if it is suitable for planting, then what are the chances of success what spp should be used and what special measures are required. This site can be evaluated by site factors or vegetation it carries. Two methods of site evaluation are:
Site factors are known and site value can be determined. Site factors may include climate and soil. Biotic factors are not considered separately as their effects are reflected in the soil and vegetations of the site.
- Climate will consist of rainfall, temperature, winds, humidity etc. we will see the mean annual rainfall and its distribution. The maximum and minimum rainfall should be known. Our crop will depend upon the minimum rainfall and its distribution. About temperature mean annual temperature, winter and summer temperature should be known.
- The wind movement from the dry tracts should also be known. Humidity is also important from evaporation point of view.
- The chemical and physical properties of the soil over the area, as texture, structure acidity, depth, soil profile, soil moisture, porosity, and aerations etc.
The site can be evaluated by vegetation growing over the site e.g. if Zizyphus is growing, then the site will be good for those spp having the same requirements as Zizyphus the Tamarix spp is growing then the soil is saline etc. if Prosopis specigera or Capparis spp are growing, conclusion can be drawn that the rainfall is 10″ per anum. The soil is drained and loamy. It will be good for irrigated plantation when Salvadora grows, the soil is shallow, heavy saline and plantation is difficult.
To evaluate the site, it is better to check the area whether the area it is fit for planting or not. If there area is suitable then the question arises that which spp should be planted. It can be done by observing the climatic and physical features of the area.
These features are broadly classified into Geomorphology; Soil features, Hydrology, and type of vegetation. These are discussed as:
It is the appearance, structure, and form of the terrain. It is further divided into topography and Geology
Topography determines whether the area is plain or sloppy and also determines the altitude.
If it is sloppy ground then geography determines the aspect ie what is the direction of the slope.
Altitude is also important because we know that spp vary with increase in altitude. For instance, spp vary when we travel from one forest type to another in Subtropical region we find Pinus roxburghii while in the temperate region we find Pinus wallichiana.
The soil profile is the total depth of soil and the development of various horizons within it are very important from the plant growth point of view because these affect the nutrients availability and moisture retaining proportions as well as root penetration.
Soil profile also gives us information about texture, structure, accumulation of organic matter, which strongly affects the tree growth.
There are the characters which affect water:
- Whether the area to be planted exits in depression
- What is the depth of water table?
Above factors help in the choice of spp like if the water table is near the ground, then shallowly rooted spp are raised, while, if the water table is deep below then deep-rooted spp are raised.
It helps us to determine the spp of an area to be planted as well as it also determines the nature of the soil. The nature of the soil is very clearly identified by vegetation; it carries because specific spp grew in particular soil. The most appropriately it is known as indicator spp like Tamarix grew in the Saline soil.
Image: Billion Tree Tsunami
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NJMH is working as Deputy Conservator of Forests in Balochistan Forest & Wildlife Department (BFWD). He is the CEO of Tech Urdu (techurdu.net) Forestrypedia (forestrypedia.com), Majestic Pakistan (majesticpakistan.pk), All Pak Notifications (allpaknotifications.com), Essayspedia, etc & their YouTube Channels). He is an Environmentalist, Blogger, YouTuber, Developer & Vlogger.