How many people, including foresters, when expressing admiration of a tree, ever think of the adverse conditions which that tree has had to overcome in order to attain its present graceful or magnificent form? These adverse factors are met in artificial reforestation yet the forester is able to establish thrifty forests where nature has failed. This success is accomplished by the use of methods which nature cannot supply, such as planting a tree two or three years old, thereby eliminating all the factors which mean failure during the seedling stage. Thus it is within the realm of the forester to improve on nature's methods in tree production the same as this end has been accomplished in many other activities of man. Just as in the natural state, the eggs of the shad fish produce about 2 fish out of every possible million while man has insured a success of 70%, so is nature producing millions of tree seeds where a very small per cent or none produce trees. It is the endeavor of this article to give some of the reasons for nature's apparent wasteful methods and to show how these facts, when known, may be utilized by the forester.
Hofmann, J. V.
"Seed Vitality as a Factor in Determining Forest Types,"
Ames Forester: Vol. 5
, Article 3.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/amesforester/vol5/iss1/3