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TitleAssessing the Use of Shrub-Willows for Living Snow Fences in Minnesota
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Table of Contents
                            Chapter 1: ESTABLISHMENT and potential snow storage capacity of willow (Salix spp.) living snow fences in Waseca, Minnesota, USA
	1.1  Abstract
	1.2  Introduction
	1.3  Materials and Methods
		1.3.1  Site description and experimental design
		1.3.2  Plant data collection
		1.3.3  Modeled snow storage capacity
		1.3.4  Measured snow storage
		1.3.5  Statistical analyses
	1.4  Results
		1.4.1  Establishment and growth
		1.4.2  Snow storage capacity
	1.5  Discussion
	1.6  Conclusion
Chapter 2: The Economics of Planting and Producing Biomass from Willow (Salix spp.) Living Snow Fences
	2.1  Abstract
	2.2  Introduction
	2.3  Methods
		2.3.1  Planting and Establishment
		2.3.2  Labor
		2.3.3  Chemicals
		2.3.4  Machinery
		2.3.5  Planting Stock
		2.3.6  Erosion Control
		2.3.7  Harvest
		2.3.8  Transport
	2.4  Results and Discussion
		2.4.1  Planting and Establishment
		2.4.2  Conservation Program Cost Sharing
		2.4.3  Comparison to Current Living Snow Fence Costs
		2.4.4  Biomass Production
		2.4.5  Enterprise Budgets
		2.4.6  Cash Flow
		2.4.7  Costs of Production
		2.4.8  Biomass facilities in Minnesota
	2.5  Conclusions and Implications
Chapter 3: establishment AND Growth of native and hybrid shrub-willows, gray dogwood, and American cranberrybush for use in living snow fences
	3.1  Introduction
	3.2  Methods
		3.2.1  Study site description
		3.2.2  Experimental design and planting materials
		3.2.3  Plant data collection
		3.2.4  Statistical analyses
	3.3  Results
		3.3.1  Growth variables by species and year
		3.3.2  Effects of coppice timing on 2014 willow growth variables
	3.4  Discussion
	3.5  Conclusion
Chapter 4: Conclusions
	4.1  Chapter 1
	4.2  Chapter 2
	4.3  Chapter 3
Appendix A  Snow Climatological Models for Waseca, Minnesota
Appendix B  Porosity Method for Adobe Photoshop CS Version 8.0
Appendix C  Biomass Facilities in Minnesota
Appendix D  Height And Porosity Assessment of a Living Snow Fence in Belle Plaine, Minnesota
Appendix E  Financial Assistance for Living Snow Fences In Minnesota
Appendix F  Photo Timeline of the Establishment and Growth of the Willow Living Snow Fence in Waseca, MN
Document Text Contents
Page 1

Assessing the Use of
Shrub-Willows for Living

Snow Fences in Minnesota

Diomy Zamora, Principal Investigator
University of Minnesota Extension

November 2015

Research Project
Final Report 2015-46

Page 2

To request this document in an alternative format call 651-366-4718 or 1-800-657-3774 (Greater
Minnesota) or email your request to [email protected] Please request at least one
week in advance.

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Table 3.4: The effect of coppice time and species on 2014 mean willow height and number
of stems per plant.

Height (cm) Stem count plant-1

Fall Spring Fall Spring
Fish Creek 203.3 a,r 147.1 bc,s 11.5 a,r 4.2 b,s
Oneonta 194.1 a,r 207.9 a,r 10.8 a,r 10.2 a,r
S365 126.1 b,r 129.3 c,r 8.1 ab,r 8.1 a,r
S25 96.9 b,r 136.6 c,r 4.5 b,r 7.5 a,s
S. petiolaris 181.7 a,r 170.1 abc,r 6.9 ab,r 5.2 a,r
Means with overlapping letters are not statistically different under
Tukey’s HSD at p≤0.05. Letters a-c denote differences among
species, while letters r-s denote differences between years.

3.4 Discussion

Shrub establishment was generally good among species, although little increase in growth
occurred in cranberrybush and dogwood shrubs after the first growing season. We observed high
overall survival rates among shrubs after the first growing season, but saw an overall decrease in
survival after the 2014 growing season. For willows, a slight decrease in survival is not
uncommon after coppicing (e.g., Zamora 2014). For cranberrybush and dogwood shrubs, it is
possible they were affected by herbicide application in the second year, as they were noted as
being wilted at the start of the 2014 growing season, shortly after herbicide application (Figure
3.2). In the first year, at the start of the growing season, cranberrybush and dogwood plots
received only a Poast herbicide treatment, but in the second year they received both a Poast and
Transline treatment. It is possible that Transline stunted cranberrybush and dogwood shrubs.
Transline has the same active ingredient (clopyralid) as Stinger herbicide, which is not registered
for use on either dogwood or cranberrybush shrubs (Gullickson et al. 1999).

Other factors that may have influenced survival were the occurrence of droughts during both
growing seasons, as well as the presence of competing vegetation. Willows are especially water-
limited (Thelemann et al. 2010), and drought can significantly decrease willow survival (Zamora
et al. 2014). Additionally, due to the lack of pre-emergent herbicide application the year prior to
establishment, as recommended for willow plantings (Abrahamson et al. 2010), shrubs
experienced competition among annual and perennial weeds, which is the most common cause of
willow failure in the first two growing seasons. Nevertheless, at the end of 2014, all shrubs
except for S25 had survival rates above the 80% threshold recommended for productive SRWC
stands Bergkvist et al. (1996).

After the second growing season, willows exhibited significantly higher growth characteristics
than cranberrybush and dogwood shrubs, with a mean height 4 times greater than that of the
traditional LSF shrubs. This is to be expected, as it is not uncommon for shrub-willows to grow
1-3 m during a growing season (Amichev et al. 2015, Gamble et al. 2014), while cranberrybush
and dogwood shrubs tend to have lower growth rates. Interestingly, however, neither
cranberrybush nor dogwood shrubs increased in growth with regard to height, number of stems,
and stem diameter from 2013 to 2014. This again is likely explained by the Transline herbicide

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application in 2014. Willows, however, had no observable response to the herbicide

Figure 3.2: American cranberrybush with wilted leaves and stems in June, 2014, shortly
after herbicide application

Within willows, second-year growth characteristics of the cultivars agreed well with Amichev et
al. (2015), who assessed early growth in the same cultivars, among others. Regarding the native
willow, little information exists on its growth characteristics in a cultivated setting. In wild
populations in Minnesota, S. petiolaris can reach heights of 4 m and basal diameters of 4 cm
(Smith 2008). In this study, we found the growth of S. petiolaris was comparable to willow
cultivars with the highest growth. This in some ways contrasts to findings of Zamora et al.
(2014), who found native willows different than ours to be generally less productive than hybrid
willows in central Minnesota. However, given that S. petiolaris is perhaps the most common and
abundant willow in Minnesota (Smith 2008) and was collected from a local source and thus well-
adapted to local conditions, it is somewhat unsurprising that it was comparable to genetically
improved willows in this study.

All willows significantly increased in the number of stems per plant after coppicing, which is
typically observed throughout willow production trials. Regarding coppice date, few differences
were observed between the fall 2013 coppice and spring 2014 coppice. Fish Creek, however,
had significantly lower height and stem counts under the spring 2014 coppice, whereas the
converse was true regarding stem counts in S25. It is possible that Fish Creek may be active
earlier in the growing season than other willows, and therefore already allocated some its

Page 98

Figure F-26 Willow snow fence growth (orange post near center is approximately 5 feet
tall) (September 3, 2015)

Figure F-27 Willow variety ‘Fish Creek’ in the snow fence next to corn (orange post is

about 5 feet tall) (September 3, 2015)


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Figure F-28 Willow growth at Study 2 plots (Chapter 3) at the Southern Research and
Outreach Center (September 3, 2015)

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