Site Preparation

Land-leveling scrapers are very efficient and cost effective for moving soil from one location to another. Rubber-tired tractors with shift-on-the go transmissions are used to pull these units. They can be used as single or tandem scrapers. Several styles are available, and single units range in capacity from 5 to 18 cubic yards. Required tractor horsepower varies from 100 to 500. Land-leveling scrapers are widely used for leveling farmland, construction sites, and road projects. They are generally not used for long-haul applications.

Site preparation is critical for successful revegetation projects. Preparation includes tilling to remove compacted layers, improving soil tilth, destroying weeds, and providing a firm, friable seedbed with safe sites for seeded species. Tillage implements are classified as primary and secondary. Primary tillage refers to initial soil disturbance while secondary tillage is the final seedbed preparation prior to planting. Rangeland is often littered with shrub debris so a portion of this chapter is dedicated to implements designed to traverse debris-littered land.

References/Additional Information

Eldridge, J.; Redente, E.; Paschke, M. 2011. The use of seedbed modifications and wood chips to accelerate restoration of well pad sites in Western Colorado, USA. Restoration Ecology. 20(4): 524 - 531.

Monsen, S.B.; Stevens, R. 2004. Chapter 12. Seedbed preparation and seeding practices. In: Monsen, S.B.; Stevens, R.; Shaw, N.L., comps. Restoring western ranges and wildlands, vol. 1. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-136-vol-1. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 121-154.

Simonson, D.B.; Cornforth, B.; Ogle, D.; St. John, L. 2006. Function and operation of a machine to lay weed barrier fabric. Tech Note 25. Boise, ID: USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 8 p.

St. John, L.; Tilley, D.J.; Ogle, D.; Jacobs, J.; Holzworth, L.; Wiesner, L. 2011. Principles of seedbed preparation for conservation seedings. Tech Note 13. USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service. 14 p.