Weeds present at Mae Moh site
Consulting with the “Reforestation Guidelines for Unused SurfaceMined Lands in the Eastern United States” by James A. Burger, and Carl E. Zipper, (2016), one would found that preparing the mined site for planting usually requiresthree steps: 1) removing and controlling existing undesirable vegetation; 2) improving the mine soil’s chemical properties by adding lime and fertilizer; and 3) improving the mine soil’s physical properties by deep tilling with a dozer to alleviate mine soil compaction and consolidation. It is essential that the pre-existing vegetation be controlled because it will otherwise compete for sunlight, water, and nutrients needed by tree seedlings to survive and grow. Because the pre-existing vegetation has established rooting and physical stature, it has an advantage over newly planted seedlings. If pre-existing vegetation is not controlled, it will quickly overtop and out-compete planted tree seedlings, and those seedlings will not survive. Herbaceous plants and woody shrubs, manyof them non-native and invasive, often dominate reclaimed post-SMCRA mine sites (Zipper et al. 2007). Successful reforestation requires that existing vegetation be eliminated or controlled. Thus,the reforestation plan must include a strategy for control of competing vegetation.
The guideline explains how to survey the existing vegetation by developing a map of the area and delineate sections of the site that have different types and amounts of vegetation. Determine the acreage of each area and the total for the site. A GIS map, or an aerial or satellite photo, would be especially useful to determine acreage and to record the assessment survey, as well as a record of the application of all reforestation procedures. Satellite imagery that is freely available on internet mapping sites can be used toprepare a base map and to estimate areas. This information will be needed to formulate herbicide mixes, as grasses and legumes require different herbicides for their control. The most troublesome competing plants are often vigorous grasses and legumes, including those sown after mining and invasive species that can occupy mine sites even when not sown. These species are tenacious and competitive; successful reforestation requires their control or elimination. About 5 years after reclamation, even if not planted, woody plants invade the unmanaged mine sites. When allowed to mature, these invasive woody plants become a significant obstacle to any form of site management, including reforestation with more desirable timber species. In the guidelines, however, most vegetation identify are temperate species, besides weed controlling by using herbicide is not allow in the study area,. Suggestion on how to control the weeds cannot be applied to the situation at Mae Moh site but survey of pre-existing vegetation has to conduct properly for weed controlling plan in the future. However, in such a short period of time to implement the project, this guideline cannot be followed in the first year, therefore, preliminary survey by taking photo and identify pre-existing species are deployed. Pre-existing plants species at Mae Moh mine are illustrated below. Study on their properties of competitiveness, regeneration, invasiveness, aggressiveness or even medicinal may conducted later to control planning in the future.