Spacing simply means the distance which is kept b/w rows and b/w plants. Eg in some areas shisham is planted at spacing 6’× 10’ while on some places it is also planted at a spacing of 10’ × 10’ or even 10’ × 15’.
Factors responsible for spacing:
Characteristics of Species:
Whether its roots are growing horizontally or at some angle spp with wide crowns require wider spacing.
Tolerance of Spp:
Spacing is “narrow” for shade loving and “wider” for light demanders.
The rate of Growth:
Fast growing spp require wider spacing. While slow-growing spp require narrow spacing.
Spacing in case of Seed Spacing:
Seeds are sown at narrow spacing because of unknown germination percentage of the seeds.
If on one side fertility is greater then wider spacing is recommended because of less mortality rate.
If the site is poor then close spacing is recommended due to more mortality rate.
Spacing according to the purpose of plantation or sowing:
a) Concerning with timber or fuel wood:
Spp with longer rotation are usually selected for timber and wide spacing is given in such cases because plant receives more nutrients.
Spp with short rotation are selected for fuel wood and narrow spacing is recommended for them.
b) Concerning with resin production:
Wider spacing is given in this case because trees will reach exploitable diameter quickly because of very little competition.
c) Concerning with fruit production:
Wider spacing is given in case of purposes of fruit so that there should be no competition among trees.
Spacing According to Need of Technology:
Nowadays plantations are being raised by modern technology ie all the operations are carried out with the help of machinery. If the plantation is mechanized then we have to provide space of machine movement, so wider spacing is required in such cases.
According to Rotation Period:
To avoid longer rotation, spacing should be wider because there is competition b/w shoot and root in close spacing and plant requires a lot of time to reach to maturity.
According to Availability of Funds:
Thinning is required in every spp and thinning requires capital. If we don’t have too much funds then plants should be raised at wider spacing, but later on, it may cause gap which is again a loss of soil. So if we have funds then planting should be done at close spacing.
Image: Eucalyptus Spp Block Plantation raised on close spacing at Naseerabad on a Saline/Waterlogged Land under Green Pakistan Programme | June 22, 2018 | Image by Author
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