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Keyword: mastication

A regional assessment of the ecological effects of chipping and mastication fuels reduction and forest restoration treatments.

Publications Posted on: December 04, 2019
Over the past several years, fire managers have increased their use of mastication treatments, the on-site disposal of shrubs and small-diameter trees through chipping and shredding. Mastication is a relatively untested management practice that alters the chemical and physical conditions of the forest floor and may influence vegetation regrowth and fuel development for years or decades.

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

Documents and Media Posted on: June 27, 2019
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, including can the site handle mastication equipment, what type of equipment to use, and the preferred size of masticated biomass. 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. Document Type: Other Documents

A go-to guide for your mastication questions

Pages Posted on: June 25, 2019
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Mechanized fuel treatment effects on soil compaction in Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer stands

Documents and Media Posted on: October 03, 2018
The immediate need to treat forest fuels is often justified as a need to reduce potential fire behavior as well as improve or maintain forest health. Millions of hectares are at risk of unusually severe fires in the United States, and fuel treatments are being prescribed at unprecedented scales. In many cases, mechanical treatments with heavy equipment are the most efficient or economical method to reduce fuels.Document Type: Other Documents

Microbial and nitrogen pool response to fuel treatments in Pinyon-Juniper woodlands of the southwestern USA

Publications Posted on: August 30, 2018
Wildfire mitigation in Pinyon-Juniper woodlands in the Colorado Plateau region is a management priority. Two wildfire mitigation treatments, mastication and thin-pile-burn, are often chosen based on costs and availability of equipment, yet there are ecological concerns with either treatment.

Fuels planning: science synthesis and integration; economic uses fact sheet 01: mastication treatments and costs

Publications Posted on: August 01, 2018
Mastication, or mulching, is a mechanical fuel treatment that changes the structure and size of fuels in the stand. This fact sheet describes the kinds of equipment available, where mastication should be used, and treatment factors affecting cost. Other publications in this series

Characterizing fire behavior from laboratory burns of multi-aged, mixed-conifer masticated fuels in the western United States

Publications Posted on: June 12, 2018
Mastication is the process of chipping or shredding components of the tree canopy or above-ground vegetation to reduce the canopy, alter fire spread rates, and reduce crown fire potential. Mastication as a fuel treatment, either alone or in combination with prescribed fire, has been the subject of much research. This research has shown that modeling expected fire behavior in these fuels is challenging.

Physical and chemical characteristics of surface fuels in masticated mixed-conifer stands of the U.S. Rocky Mountains

Publications Posted on: January 31, 2018
Mastication is a wildland fuel treatment technique that is rapidly becoming the preferred method for many fire hazard reduction projects, especially in areas where reducing fuels with prescribed fire is particularly challenging.

Mulching fuels treatments promote understory plant communities in three Colorado, USA, coniferous forest types

Publications Posted on: January 05, 2017
Mulching fuels treatments have been increasingly implemented by forest managers in the western USA to reduce crown fire hazard. These treatments use heavy machinery to masticate or chip unwanted shrubs and small-diameter trees and broadcast the mulched material on the ground. Because mulching treatments are relatively novel and have no natural analog, their ecological impacts are poorly understood.

Mastication effects on fuels, plants, and soils in four western U.S. ecosystems

Documents and Media Posted on: January 29, 2016
This project compared fuel reduction mulching and adjacent untreated stands at conifer ecosystems distributed across Colorado and evaluated the effects of mulch depth both experimentally and in operational units. Results from this study provide land managers and researchers greater understanding of the lasting effects of mulching on community and ecosystem processes. Document Type: Other Documents

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