Intensive Cultural Practices Increase Growth of Juvenile Slash Pine in Florida Sandhills
Growth of slash pine planted on a well-prepared Florida sandhill site and treated with NP fertilizer, irrigation, and weed control (applied singly and in factorial combination) was improved in almost direct proportion to the number of treatments applied. Five years after planting, untreated trees averaged 1.7 m tall, 1.52 cm dbh, and 821 cm³ in stemwood volume. In contrast, trees subjected to any single treatment, two combined treatments, or three combined treatments were about 45, 70, and 110 percent taller; 100, 150, and 230 percent larger in dbh; and contained 90, 170, and 330 percent more stemwood volume. Both available soil moisture and nutrients limited tree growth on these sites during various times of the year. Soil moisture deficiencies during the previous fall and current spring restricted elongation of the first flush of growth, while nutrient deficiencies limited elongation of subsequent or late flushes as well as diameter growth. Factorial combinations of treatments generally resulted in lower concentrations of N and K in current annual foliage, while fertilization caused slightly higher concentrations of foliar P. Both weed control and irrigation increased available soil moisture and thus decreased the number of days during the growing season that trees were growing under moisture stress. Forest Sci. 19:197-202.
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Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
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