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Science You Can Use (in 5 min): A go-to guide for your mastication questions

Posted date: June 27, 2019
Publication Year: 
Document type: Other Documents


Mastication, a method once used almost exclusively by utility companies to reduce vegetation beneath power lines, is now also regarded as a useful treatment for preparing a site for planting, releasing sapling-sized trees, or reducing surface fuels in fire-prone forest ecosystems. However, not all mastication treatments are the same. Land managers must consider a number of factors when designing a mastication project:

  • Can the mastication equipment move/navigate on the site?
  • What type of equipment should be used?
  • What is the preferred size of the masticated biomass—chunks or mulch?

For land managers wanting guidance on selecting a mastication treatment, To Masticate or Not: Useful Tips for Treating Forest, Woodland, and Shrubland Vegetation, a general technical report (GTR) published by the Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS) offers answers.

PDF icon in5min_mastication_web.pdf1009.11 KB

Related Publications

Jain, Terrie B. ; Sikkink, Pamela G. ; Keefe, Robert ; Byrne, John C. , 2018
National Strategic Program Areas: 
Resource Management and Use
National Priority Research Areas: 
Localized Needs (regional work)
RMRS Science Program Areas: 
Forest and Woodland Ecosystems
RMRS Strategic Priorities: 
Fire Sciences; Resilient Landscapes