Prototype Root Harvest Contract -- Black Locust Initiative, Fall 2000

Landowner receives 10% of the value of the tree. Tree volume measured per UDSA table (attached). Unit price = $200/mbf (thousand board feet). Payment is in return for 10% of roots from the tree, obtained only in the following manner:

  1. Tree is numbered, photographed, and data are collected regarding bark morphology (taxonomy), height, diameter at breast height (dbh), and log straightness.
  2. A marked buttress root in a cardinal direction is excavated using air tools, and the azimuth is recorded in the photo, so that future researchers can determine the time it takes for the tree to replace harvested roots, and whether the young, regrown roots are more easily propagated. (A fair sized tree has approximately 10 buttress roots, so harvest of one should yield about a 10% harvest).
  3. Roots are always tagged before cutting with sterile tools and removing from context.
  4. A bucket of sandy loam is added to replace lost material at time of backfilling.
  5. Roots are instantly heeled-in in moist, sandy peat (neither wet nor dry), with redundant tagging and labeling, and stored in appropriate conditions (35 deg F) until planing in early spring.
  6. When cutting roots to length for planting, they are arranged anatomically and keyed and photographed.

Landowner still has the capital (the tree) and has received a dividend and a database to determine the rate of increase of the capital (tree volume over time), and may choose to continue this procedure, or to ethically harvest this tree when 10 progeny have been securely established.

 

This contract offers incentive to save superior genetics rather than regressively harvesting them!

 

 

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