Aiming for an appropriate water level
An appropriate water level is important for tree growth and for reduced emissions. Trees are satisfied as long as most of their roots are above the water level. If the water level rises, tree growth suffers, the wet peat releases climate-warming methane, and the humus starts moving. If the water level drops, the peat dries up and decomposes, releasing carbon dioxide, which warms the atmosphere.
A suitable water level is 30–40 centimetres from the peat surface. This ensures that the tree roots are mainly above water, and that their growth is not hampered by water.
TIPS FOR MAINTAINING AN APPROPRIATE WATER LEVEL
- A functioning ditch can contain water. Check the water level of old ditches in the late summer, not during the peak floods in the spring.
- The ditch network works as it should if the water level is at a depth of 30–40 centimetres from the peat surface in the late summer.
- Remember: if drainage is too effective, it does not increase forest growth.