It is necessary to adopt a set of silvicultural measures, such as the planting season (spring or early summer depending on the species), soil preparation, fertilization (mineral fertilization in appropriate doses) and cultural treatments designed to favor the initial growth of the plants in the field.
As an example, the preparation for eucalyptus cultivation has shown a wide evolution in recent years, from the most careful preparation to the minimum cultivation, very widespread and currently used in the forestry sector. Of course, when the use of the equipment or the degree of mechanization is generalized without taking into account all the variables and peculiarities of each soil, climate and topography, the probability of waste of money and soil degradation are practically unavoidable.
Eucalyptus species are highly sensitive to weed competition (up to approximately 1 to 1 ½ years) and also to ant attacks (usually do not support 3 consecutive attacks).
Preparation of the ground
The preparation of the plot is related to the characteristics of the area where the planting will be carried out. Soil preparation for planting should be done in a way that provides greater availability of water for the crop, since the soil water regime is an essential factor for the growth of most species of eucalyptus.
Usually operations are performed in the following order:
- construction of roads and fireworks
- deforestation and use of timber
- entailing or coercing
- burning of the logs
- Ant combat
- soil revolving
- groove and / or coveamento
The techniques of minimum cultivation and intercropping have been adopted by many companies in order to reduce environmental damages.
Aiming at the production of wood for laminating, sawing and thinning for paper and cellulose, spacings of 3,0 x 2,5 (1,333 trees / ha) or 3.0 x 2,0 (1,666 trees / ha) are generally used.
With the advent of clonal plantations, pulp companies began to adopt wider spacings (such as 3 m x 3 m), which provide the largest space for identical genotypes.
In mechanization and harvesting activities, the increase in spacing becomes a necessity aiming at more adequate conditions for the production of larger individuals, which lead to a higher productivity of the equipment.
Planting can be done through two methods:
- Manual planting: initially consists of baling and alignment, opening of pits, distribution of seedlings and planting proper.
- Mechanized planting: consists of a tractor that transports the seedlings and opens the pit with a furrowing disc while a worker distributes the seedlings. At the same time, two converging wheels close the groove. The poorly planted seedlings are arranged by a worker who follows the machine, being this process used for seedlings of naked root
Cleansing is done until the plants reach a size sufficient to dominate the invasive vegetation and are generally done through three main methods:
- Manual cleaning: through the weeds in between the lines or between crowns and by strokes in the line.
- Mechanical cleaning: use of grids, rotary hoes and brushcutters.
- Chemical cleaning: use of herbicides.
The prevention of attack by leaf-cutting ants must be carried out constantly, through vigilance and combat in the preparation phase of the soil, in which the location and the combat itself are facilitated.
The most common species in the South region are those of the genera Atta and Acromyrmex, generally fought with granulated baits distributed in the paths and scouts.
The replanting should be carried out within a period of 30 days after planting, when its survival is less than 90%.