Cover the ground with straw after tree planting

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One replicated, randomized, controlled study in the Czech Republic found that covering the ground with straw, but not bark or fleece, increased the growth rate of planted trees and shrubs.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2000-2005 in temperate broadleaf woodland in the Czech Republic (1) found that covering the ground with straw mulch increased the growth rate of planted trees and shrubs, but covering with bark or fleece mulches did not. Five years after planting, the average growth of trees and shrubs was higher with straw mulch (226 cm) than with bark mulch (124 cm), fleece mulch (100 cm) or no mulch (80 cm). In 2000, seedlings of a mixture of 128 tree and 190 shrub species were planted in each of four 600 m2 plots. Each plot was divided into four 150 m2 subplots that were randomly assigned to four treatments: straw mulch (planting and covering the whole area with a 0.3 m layer of straw mulch); bark mulch (planting in a previously established grassland and applying a 0.2 m layer of fresh bark in 0.4 m rows); fleece mulch (planting in a previously established grassland and applying layers of 0.4 m wide synthetic fleece in rows); no mulch (planting in a previously established grassland). Plants were measured in 2005.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Agra, H., Schowanek, S., Carmel, Y., Smith, R.K. & Ne’eman, G. (2020) Forest Conservation. Pages 323-366 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2020. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.


Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

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Forest Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Forest Conservation
Forest Conservation

Forest Conservation - Published 2016

Forest synopsis

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