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Reviewing the Scientific Use of Fertilizers in Forestry

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Wood is becoming an increasingly scarce commodity in many parts of the world with wood deficits imminent before the end of the century. Trees require a balanced diet of six macro-nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, calcium and sulphur) and seven micro-nutrients (boron, Copper, zinc, iron, manganese, molybdenum and chlorine) for healthy vigorous growth. Many soils provide insufficient supplies of these elements and only by the intervention of man can the deficiencies be corrected. Successful fertilization depends on correct diagnosis of deficiencies by study of visual symptoms, soil and foliage analyses, and bio-assays. Aerial fertilization costs $10 to $30 per acre and the response may last from five to 40 years. The potential gains are more immediate and of greater magnitude than those achieved by most other forms of intensive silviculture. Fertilizers are not a panacea but can yield both biological and financial advantages. Use of fertilizers in forestry is well established in many parts of the world.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Senior forester and head, Division of Silviculture, Woodlands Research Department, Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, Montreal, P.Q.

Publication date: July 1, 1965

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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