Keywords: Prosopis laevigata, re- forestation, surviving, water stress.
The objective was to determine planting quality and to identify methods to increment efficien- cy in mesquite reforestations performed in Durango, México. Seventeen commercial plots, established as governmental reforestation program during 2009 and 2010 were evaluated in Nombre de Dios (5), Cuencamé (4), Lerdo (2), Pánuco de Coronado (2), Tlahualilo (2), Durango (1) and Mapimí (1). Evaluations were performed during january and february, 2011 using circular and systematic sampling method and only lineal sampling method was used at 10 de Abril, Cuencamé. Data were taken for geographical coordinates, altitude, planting orientation (exposure), reforestation type, planting area, plant survival, plant height, basal stem diameterand ecological traits related to mes- quite survival in each location. In 2011 an experimental plot was established using a Randomized Com- plete Block design in order to determine the effect of four hydrogel doses (0, 20, 30 y 40 g·plant-1) on mesquite plant condition evaluated 63 days after transplant. Commercial plots altituderanged between 1,099 m in San Francisco de Afuera, Tlahualilo, to 2094 m in Lomas de San Juan, Cuencamé, Dgo. Ze- nithal (Z) exposure showed the highest frequency (9), followed by SE (4), S (2), E (1) and NE (1). The real frame (3 m x 3 m, 3 m x 2.5 m) planting method was the most used, although triangular planting method was also observed in two plots. Commercial plots planting area ranged between 4 ha in Sapio- riz, Lerdo, to 100 ha in San Francisco de Afuera, Tlahualilo. High number of plots (7) showing 0 % of mesquite plants survival was observed, while the rest (10 plots) ranged from2.7 % (Lomas de San Juan, Cuencamé) to 58.2 % (San José de Acevedo P2, Nombre de Dios). Plant height ranged from 7.3 cm (San José de Acevedo P1) to 27.8 cm (Ejido Severino Ceniceros). Stem basal diameter showed variations between 1.5 cm (San José de Acevedo P1) to 5.5 cm in Lomas de San Juan and 10 de Abril. There were low rates of survivalin mesquite plantations performed during 2009 and 2010 in Durango, Mexico. One of the most important factors showing strong influence over mesquite plant survival was water stress and then effects of using hydrogel was validated in order to retain water in soil. Treatment including 20 g of hydrogel showed possibilities in order to increment survival in mesquite plantations under field conditions. Forester instruction is needed in order to improve mesquite survival trough better planting techniques which include the use of locally collected seed of adapted species such as Prosopislaevigata, use of plots with deep soils and hydrogel application, as a water retention method in soil.