Biochar and wood ash amendments for forestry in the Lake States: Field report and initial results

Document Type


Publication Date



© 2018 Society of American Foresters. Soil amendments are common in agriculture but are not widely used in Lake States forestry. Our objectives were to test the efficacy of operational-scale application of soil amendments on marginal sites as a management strategy for adaptation to drier conditions. Wood ash and biochar amendments were applied throughout 50 acres of recently harvested scrub oak stands, and red and jack pine seedlings were planted. Short-term results indicate increased water holding capacity and cation exchange capacity in soils amended with biochar and biochar with manure and significant increases in seedling production with wood ash amendment. Here we report on the feasibility of the application methods and their associated financial costs and present initial data on soil properties after amendment with wood ash and biochar.

Publication Title

Journal of Forestry