Wattle Silviculture

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Stephens R.P
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Radical changes in wattle silviculture have taken place since 1928, when Craib started his researches upon plantation establishment and management. At this date mature plantations outside the Eastern Cape Province rarely carried less than 800 to 1,000 trees per acre. Craib was the first technical silviculturist to make a critical examination of the methods employed by private growers and companies in Natal. As a result of his work it is now extremely rare to find mature areas carrying as many as 800 trees per acre; the average now is about 500, with plantations of several of the larger private growers carrying considerably less than this. As a result of the stress laid by Craib on spacing and grass control in early life (first year) so as to avoid crown reduction because of competition, it was found safer too thin to 400 trees per acre in the first year rather than to 800 in the third year as was done previously. In addition to the greatly improved weed control secured under this new system, every indication wall given at an early stage that yields would be higher and bark quality improved.
East African Agricultural And Forestry Journal, VII, p. 120-120