Forest Fertilization Guidebook Table of Contents]


Operational Planning Regulation

Fertilizing done under a silviculture prescription

A person who is required to establish a free growing stand on an area under prescription must specify a fertilization treatment if it is required to achieve a healthy free growing stand within the latest free growing date specified in the prescription, unless such a treatment is in a community watershed and is precluded by the objectives of the community watershed.
The Operational Planning Regulation gives five points that a person preparing a stand management prescription must do to meet the required scope of a stand management prescription.

Scope of stand mangement prescriptions

(a) consider the result of any free growing survey carried out on the area,
(b) ensure that the prescription is adequate to achieve the future stand condition specified in the prescription,
(c) ensure that the prescription is adequate to achieve continued growth of species that are ecologically suited for the area,
(d) ensure that the prescription facilitates the protection of the soil on the area, and
(e) describe any actions required to achieve known landscape level objectives for stand structure and species composition.

Stand management prescription contents pertinent to fertilization are listed below. For details on preparing a SMP, see the Stand Management Prescription Guidebook.

Content of stand management prescriptions

A person preparing a stand management prescription must, for the area under the prescription, ensure that the prescription

Silviculture Practices Regulation

Stand management

Fertilization mandatory in some circumstances

A person who is required to establish a free growing stand on an area under a silviculture prescription must carry out a fertilization treatment on the area before the end of the free growing assessment period, if the district manager is of the opinion that the treatment is necessary to achieve a healthy free growing stand within the free growing assessment period specified in the prescription.

Use of fertilizers

A person who uses fertilizer to

(a) establish a free growing stand on an area under a silviculture prescription, or
(b) carry out a stand management prescription

must store, handle and apply the fertilizer in a manner that protects forest resources.

Broadcast fertilization in community watersheds

A holder of a silviculture prescription or stand management prescription who broadcasts fertilizer on an area under the prescription in a community watershed must ensure that

(a) the fertilizer is not applied

(i) closer than 100 m upslope of a water intake, or
(ii) within 10 m of a perennial stream that is observable from the air, at the height the fertilizer will be applied, unless otherwise authorized by both the district manager and the Minister of Health, and

(b) the application of nitrogen fertilizer does not cause

(i) nitrate nitrogen levels in a stream to exceed 10 ppm measured immediately below the area where the fertilizer is applied,
(ii) chlorophyll levels in a stream to exceed

(A) 2 micrograms/litre in a lake, or
(B) 5 milligrams/square metre in a stream, or

(iii) water quality to fall below any water quality objectives or criteria approved by the Minister of Environment, Lands and Parks.


Obligation of major license holder under stand management prescription

(1) A holder of a major licence who carries out a silviculture treatment specified in a stand management prescription approved under section 24(2) of the Act must prepare a report that

(a) contains a summary of the silviculture treatments performed on the free growing stand on the area during the period beginning 2 weeks before the last report and ending 2 weeks before the current reportís submission date under subsection (2), and

(b) specifies whether the silviculture treatment was carried out to fulfill the requirements of a management plan or an agreement under the Forest Act.

(2) A person required to prepare a report under subsection (1) must ensure that the report

(a) is signed and sealed by a professional forester, and

(b) is submitted each year to the district manager on April 15, July 31, October 31 and January 15.

(3) The chief forester may specify the form and content of a report under subsection (1).

Fertilization required by legislation

A silviculture prescription must contain a requirement for fertilization if the district manager determines that it is necessary to obtain a free growing stand. This requirement will only be removed if the holder of the silviculture prescription can demonstrate that fertilization is unlikely to significantly improve stand vigor. This demonstration would be done using evaluation of site and stand characteristics and, documentation of stand nutrient status by foliar analysis and fertilizer screening trials.

Fertilization should be a requirement of a silviculture prescription if necessary for the stand to meet required growth levels. Fertilizer should not be required if its application will cause other site or crop tree problems.


The district manager can determine fertilization to be a free growing requirement.

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