Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/603

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Sowing Tree Seed in the Snow

As the snow melts the seed sinks deeper and deeper and finally buries itself in the ground

��TO keep our national forests, which are scattered from Alas- ka to Porto Rico, up to standard, twelve to fifteen thousand acres have to be reforested or planted each year. The bare lands must be made productive and the thin stands of wood must be improved. To do this requires an immense amount of labor.

���Two strips of plowed ground form a guard to prevent a fire from spreading.' No grass is al- lowed to grow in the plowed strips

��Sowing Douglas fir seed in the snow. When the snow melts the seed settles in the ground and is soon buried in a bed of earth

��One of the accompanying photographs shows a company of men "broadcasting" — that is, sowing seed by casting it broad- cast, over the snow in the Siuslaw National Forest, in Oregon. The seed they are sowing is Douglas fir. As the snow 'melts the seed sinks deeper and deeper and when the snow disappears entirely the seed is already covered over with sufficient dirt to give it a bed in which to grow. The chief disadvantage of the method is that the seed is conspicuous on snow and likely to be eaten by birds. After a few days of sunshine it soon disappears from view.

Another interesting part of the work is

��the building of fire guards to assist in pro- tecting plantations. In the Nebraska National Forest two strips of plowed ground each twelve furrows wide and separated by a strip of unplowed ground about two rods wide are constructed. The plowed strips are harrowed when necessary to keep down subsequent growth and the intervening strip of unplowed ground is burned over. The strips arrest the fire when a high wind is blowing.

An ordinary fire-break costs about fifty cents per mile per furrow. In heavy timber the cost would be as much as fifty dollars for the same distance.

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