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PI: Tomas Lundmark
Since the 1950s, the area of agricultural land has decreased in the country, and especially in the northern parts. This means that there is agricultural land in northern Sweden that has not been used for a long time and has slowly started to degenerate into bush land. It is likely that large parts of this land was previously good forest land with high forest growth. In order to investigate the potential of reforesting degenerated agricultural land, a new trial is planned with a mixed forest of spruce and birch, two tree species that are considered suitable in northern Sweden and that also work well in combination. In 2022, a first research site was established in Vindeln, Västerbotten. The land was cultivated so that grass and bushes are mixed with the mineral soil. Granulated lime will be added to half the experiment to regulate the pH. Planting took place in rows with every other birch and spruce. Birch: 1-year-old seedlings from Finnish seed orchard with origin lat: 62-64°, Spruce: 1-year-old plants origin FP-130 Domsjöänget. Distance between the rows was approx. 1.5 m and between the plants approx. 1 m. Weeding may be necessary in the first years if it becomes abundant and competes hard with the tree plants. If grazing damage occurs and is judged to be serious, the experiment must be fenced. In 2023 the field site will be inventoried regarding survival and damage. When the trees become large enough, permanent growth and yield plots are established according to SLU standards. The idea is that this will be a long-term trial.