Main Soil Treatment for Mechanical Reforestation

soil cultivation

As of 2019, the production of wood products around the world saw the highest growth that it had in 70 years. Therefore, as someone who works in forestry, your job is more essential than ever before.


That’s why we’ll take a look at pitting, bucketing, ripping, and mounding as ground preparation strategies for mechanical reforestation. Read on to learn some of the most common soil cultivation methods that hasten and optimize the process of mechanical planting.

pitting soil cultivation


Pitting is a strategy that crushes the soil without cutting it. It results in loose soil that has no glazing in normal conditions.

Essentially, you use an excavator to create a pit that trees can be grown in. This is done after marking your field carefully and measuring the locations where planting should take place. 


In ideal conditions, you only need to perform a 1⁄4 rotation with the mechanical tools. This speeds up the operations of planting the appropriate amount.


To pit your soil properly, you will want an approximate pit depth of 60cm and a diameter width of 70cm. You may subsequently want to use the pitting bars for removing the residue.


This is suitable for large plantations of pine, eucalyptus, acacia, and other subtropical seedlings. Additionally, keep in mind that pitting is recommended for semi-dry and dry flat and gently sloping terrain.



Bucketing refers to the use of a mechanical bucket (SKB planter) designed to crack and loose soil vertically. It is faster in its operations than a standard bucket. It is also a precise operation since soil layer mixing can be controlled by the operator.


Bucketing is used to shape the soil in various ways. The most common include cracking the soil or making a pit/shelf.


The bucket can also be used to remove residue from the area. You will want a cracking depth of about 80cm and a diameter width of about 70cm. This process is best suited for planting subtropical seedlings like pine, eucalyptus, and acacia.

ripping soil cultivator


Ripping is a process best used for deep soil preparation. Basically, you will use tines that penetrate your soil. This shatters the hardpan and reduces compaction. You will want a cracking depth of 90cm even for the best results.


Ripping can be used for removing residue on plantations of subtropical seedlings. It is suitable for both flat land and hills, making it a versatile soil cultivation method.

mounding soil cultivator


Mounding is the process of creating an elevated microsite in which a tree can be planted. This is done with a PM planter. Note that mounding is not a strategy for deep-rooted trees – pitting, soil preparation with a bucket, and ripping are.

Rather, mounding is done to reduce compaction of the soil and eliminate vegetation that competes for space with the tree. This leads to more nutrient ability. Furthermore, since these sites are better aerated and elevated aboveground, they get more sunlight than other soil treatment methods garner.

Learn More

Now that you know all about pitting and other soil cultivation techniques, it’s time to get started.


Contact us to learn more about integrated forestry. Our experts are happy to work with you to maximize your crop yield and ensure that your operations are as eco-friendly as possible.