Slash Spreading

Dispersal of accumulations of branches and foliage over wider areas.

Purpose: Slash spreading covers the ground with organic material, interrupting rain impact and trapping soil. It is a common practice after timber sales, but can also be used on burned slopes where dead vegetation is present. Slash is more frequently used on firebreaks and dozer firelines.

Relative Effectiveness: Good–50% Fair–50% (Replies = 2).  Interviewees that used this treatment rated the effectiveness “good” and “fair.” It is more effective on gentle slopes than steep ones. In accessible areas, the material can disappear as people collect it for firewood. One respondent was disappointed that not much sediment was trapped by spread slash.

Implementation and Environmental Factors: Slash needs to be cut so it makes good contact with the ground. It can be used in a moderately burned area, where there is more material to spread, or below an intensely burned slope or area of water repellent soil. There is concern that slash will attract or harbor insects, and it could act as fuel for a reburn.