Ents foresters 'read' the landscape, observing land forms, topography, rock outcrops, pasture type and vigour, remnant vegetation communities and water features. Coupling this information with detailed soil characteristics obtained by systematically digging backhoe pits to 4 metres to test soil physical properties, and bulk sample topsoil to determine soil chemical properties. Backhoe pits permit deep examination of soil physical characteristics - texture, colour, smell, structure - and often reveals impeding layers in the soil profile.
By interpreting landscape in this way - checking their hypothesis about underlying soil types with the backhoe - they develop base soil maps to gauge potential for forestry plantations and/or other land uses.
With a deep understanding of land lease processes, Ents can secure land for plantings on behalf of investors.