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Biochar and wood ash amendments for forestry in the Lake States: field report and initial results


Robert P. Richard
Patrick J. Smith
Don Peterson



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Northern Research Station


Journal of Forestry. Volume 116, Issue 3, 4 May 2018, Pages 222–227


Soil amendments are common in agriculture but are not widely used in Lake States forestry. Our objectives were to test the efficacy of operational-scale application of soil amendments on marginal sites as a management strategy for adaptation to drier conditions. Wood ash and biochar amendments were applied throughout 50 acres of recently harvested scrub oak stands, and red and jack pine seedlings were planted. Short-term results indicate increased water holding capacity and cation exchange capacity in soils amended with biochar and biochar with manure and significant increases in seedling production with wood ash amendment. Here we report on the feasibility of the application methods and their associated financial costs and present initial data on soil properties after amendment with wood ash and biochar.


Richard, Robert P.; Potvin, Lynette R.; Kane, Evan S.; Handler, Stephen D.; Smith, Patrick J.; Peterson, Don. 2018. Biochar and wood ash amendments for forestry in the Lake States: field report and initial results. Journal of Forestry. 116:3, p. 222–227.


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