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close this bookSpecial Public Works Programmes - SPWP - Planting Trees - An Illustrated Technical Guide and Training Manual (ILO - UNDP, 1993, 190 p.)
close this folder5. Adapting planting techniques to different site conditions
View the document(introduction...)
View the document5.1 Favourable sites
View the document5.2 Sites with high grass
View the document5.3 Waterlogged sites
View the document5.4 Dry sites
View the document5.5 Eroding slopes and rocky sites
View the document5.6 Steep slopes
View the document5.7 Sand dunes
View the document5.8 High altitudes with snow

5.1 Favourable sites

On sites with light and soft soil where experience has shown that regeneration is easy, the less expensive bare-rooted plants can be used. Instead of actual holes simple slots in the ground suffice for planting small bare-rooted seedlings (i.e. shoots less than 25 cm). For containerized seedlings the planting holes do not need to be bigger than the container. One single worker may then complete the whole planting operation.

When little clearing of planting spots is needed or when clearing is carried out beforehand, an open-angle hoe can be used. The use of an open-angle hoe has proven to be very fast and effective. While it takes some training and practice, it permits workers to increase their productivity very significantly compared to other methods.

1. Hold the hoe in your right hand and take a number of seedlings in your left. Start with around 10.
Hold the seedling bunch with two fingers and take one seedling between your thumb on one side
and the index and middle finger on the other (see picture on opposite page).

2. Swing the hoe upwards and let the handle slide through your hand. Gloves should be worn
otherwise the handle might not glide well and you can burn your hand.

3. Thrust its blade into the ground by letting the hoe come down. The force comes from the hoe's
weight rather than from the worker's effort. Just before the edge of the blade hits the ground, let
the handle go, so the shock does not hit your hand.

4. Grab the hoe close to the blade, move it up and down and then outwards to open a triangular slot.

5. Place the seedling in the slot in front of the hoe's head with the root collar at the same level as the
surrounding soil surface or slightly deeper. Lift the hoe from the slot.

6. Push the soil around the seedling and firm soil carefully with your foot. Then move to the next
planting spot. As you get up from the last seedling planted, use the momentum of your whole
body to swing up the hoe and the work cycle starts again ...

Favourable sites Planting with an open angle hoe


1. Hold the hoe in your right arm and a few plants in your left

2. Lift the hoe with one hand

3. Thrust the blade into the ground

4. Open the hole by raising and twisting the handle

5. Insert the plant

6. Raise the hoe and firm soil around the seedling