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:
- Tree is numbered, photographed, and data are collected
regarding bark morphology (taxonomy), height, diameter at
breast height (dbh), and log straightness.
- 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).
- Roots are always tagged before cutting with sterile tools
and removing from context.
- A bucket of sandy loam is added to replace lost material
at time of backfilling.
- 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.
- 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.