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November/December 2020 | Muedanyi Ramantswana

Improved manual planting with the Faka Plenty Planting Tool

Tree Planting


Background and description
The Faka Plenty is a planting tool manufactured by Silvix Forestry and it is designed to improve ergonomics, productivity, and planting quality (e.g. no j-rooting) when compared to conventional manual planting. The Faka plenty is the next step of the Faka planting line which began with the Faka Jelly planting tool. The original Faka Jelly tool allowed the operator to deliver a calibrated dose (600ml) of water or planting gel. However, this system had some flaws, if the operator did not fully open the lever, the gel/water would flow continuously thereby rendering the calibration ineffective.

Design and how it works
With the new Faka Plenty tool, the planting tool has the capacity to hold 600ml of water or gel allowing for some overflow that always occurs. The operator carries on their back a material collapsible backpack (squam) that is comfortable and light weight. It has the capacity to carry 16L of water or planting gel. Furthermore, the operator is also able to carry the necessary number of seedlings in the seedling bucket which can be attached to the Squam minimizing the number of straps around the operator’s neck. When planting eucalypts at an espacement of 3x2m in relatively good terrain conditions, a single planter can plant up to 1125 trees per day (1.5-man day per hectare).

Recommended steps to follow when using the planting tool
1. Insert beak of the tool into the pit
2. Open the beak only marginally to “present” the seedling to the soil, this ensures that there is direct contact with the soil
3. Pull the trigger to allow for the flow of the water/gel
4. Once the water/ gel fills the beak and flows over the top, then 600ml of water/gel has been dispersed into the pit with the seedling.
5. As the beak is pulled out of the soil is must be opened fully to allow the seedling to be left behind.
6. Let go of the left arm and the tool will close automatically.
7. Cover and lightly tap on the seedling to remove any air pockets.
8. Move on to the next pit, while putting the next seedling into the planting tube.

Other interesting information
The Squam is also compatible with two other pieces of equipment such as the Faka Manzi for calibrated follow up watering and Matabi Fire Fighting lance if it is needed in a fire fighting situation.

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