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Senneterre 2 wood ash trial

Map of Canada showing the location of the Senneterre 2 wood ash research trial in Quebec.
Location of the Senneterre 2 wood ash research trial in Quebec, Canada.


Northwest Quebec
Ecozone: Boreal Shield
Elevation: 330 m


1981 to 2010 monthly climate point estimates generated from the Natural Resources Canada climate modeling project.
Mean annual precipitation: 934 mm and 920 mm
Mean minimum temperature in January: −23.3°C and −23.6°C
Mean maximum temperature in July: 23.6°C and 23.5°C

Site description

Before the experiment, the site supported a jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) stand that had regenerated after wildfire. The soils developed from glaciolacustrine deposits and have a loamy to loamy sand texture. The soils are predominantly Eluviated Dystric Brunisols with a 10- to 15-cm forest floor layer that consists primarily of feathermoss.

Ash description

The ash used in the Senneterre 2 wood ash trial was produced in a thermal power production biomass boiler. The ash feedstock was predominantly softwood bark and shavings. Only fly ash was used for the experiment, and the ash was not pretreated before application.

Mechanical spreader spreading wood ash on a clearcut Senneterre 2 wood ash trial plot. Photo: Toma Guillemette

Wood ash being spread at a Senneterre 2 wood ash trial.

Treatment description

The site was clearcut in 2005. In the autumn of 2006, ash treatments were applied at three rates: 0 Mg ash per ha (control treatment), 2.5 Mg ash per ha, or 5 Mg ash per ha. The quantity of ash applied (Mg per ha) was calculated based on the dry weight of the ash and varied by block, depending on the lime requirements of the soil. Ash was applied to the soil surface using a mechanical spreader. Following ash application, the sites were disc-trenched which created parallel rows of trenches for planting. Treatments were replicated across three blocks when the experiment was set up. In May 2007, white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss), jack pine, and hybrid larch (Larix ×marschlinsii) seedlings were planted at a density of 2,500 stems per ha.


Monitoring treatment effects on trees and soil chemistry is ongoing. Data being collected include:

  • Trees
    • Survival and health
    • Height and diameter
    • Foliar nutrients
  • Soil chemistry
    • Acidity (pH)
    • Total carbon and nitrogen
    • Exchangeable cations
    • Available phosphorus
    • Manganese speciation

Main contacts

Nicolas Bélanger, Professor, Department of Science and Technology, Université TÉLUQ
Suzanne Brais, Retired Professor, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue


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