Notes: Early Intensive Culture Affects Long-Term Growth of Loblolly Pine Trees

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Early fertilization combined with cultivation greatly increased growth in a 22-year study of loblolly pine trees planted in large plots. There were genetic differences in growth as one population responded much better to fertilization than the other. After 22 years, height of trees on control plots averaged 12 meters. Those fertilized with 448 kg N, 98 kg P, and 186 kg K per hectare in the second growing season and cultivated for the first three growing seasons averaged 19 meters. Analysis of height growth data from 5 through 22 years indicated that the shape of the height/age curves differed significantly by genetic population and cultural treatment. Initial height growth rates of controls were lower than intensively cultured trees, but growth rates of controls did not decrease as much with age as those of the intensively cultured trees. However, projections of growth curves beyond 50 years indicated that the control trees will never equal the intensively cultured trees in height. Forest Sci. 30:491-498.

Keywords: Pinus taeda; cultivation; fertilization

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: Principal Plant Geneticist, USDA Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, Gulfport, Miss.

Publication date: June 1, 1984

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