V-Blade planting is a method of mechanical planting on cutover sites. This technique is most applicable to cutover sites that have had some form of site preparation to clear logging debris.
V-Blade planting is accomplished by using a heavy tracked vehicle to pull the planting apparatus. The planter is a heavy planting machine usually enclosed to protect the seedlings and occupant from the weather and limbs or other brush passing over and around the planter. The planter is heavy because of the roughness of the sites that it is used on and to allow it to cut through root systems and debris that are left on cutover tracts. As the planter is pulled along, a coulter blade cuts through roots and other obstacles opening a narrow slit in the ground. The coulter blade is followed by the planting foot which opens a slightly wider furrow. The furrow should be at least 10 inches deep. The seedlings are placed in a mechanical arm that plants the trees in the furrow at a predetermined spacing. As the trees are planted, slightly tilted wheels behind the planter pack the seedlings and close up the furrow. Burning, piling, or some other form of site preparation may be needed before planting on sites with heavy debris. A bulldozer equipped with a v-blade can also be used to push debris aside at the same time that the tract is planted. This practice is usually conducted during the months of December through March.
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