Mined Land Reclamation to Restore Forest Land Capability: Spoil Type and Seeding Effects

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Virginia Tech. Powell River Project


The purpose of this study is to investigate differences in tree survivorship and growth among several tree species on different soil/spoil materials on a reclaimed coal surface mine in West Virginia. Trees were planted in various substrates (soil and spoil types) to determine how spoil type and ground cover seeding affects tree survival, tree growth, and emergence of the full plant community. Soil/ spoil treatments were divided such that half of each substrate-treatment plot received either “tree compatible” herbaceous seeding or no seeding. This report describes the study layout and provides initial tree planting and survival data. It is intended as an initial report and documentation of study implementation and design. No substantive conclusions are drawn from these results, as longer time periods will be required to determine how reforestation success may have been affected by the soil and seeding treatments applied.