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Forest Fertilization in the United States: Progress and Outlook

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Abstract:

Greatest operational use of fertilizers in U.S. forests is, and will continue to be, in the Pacific Northwest and the Southeast. Western practice involves aerially applying nitrogen as granular urea to pole-sized or larger Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) across a wide range of west-side sites. In the southeastern Lower Coastal Plain, on soils classified as very poorly drained, phosphorus-containing fertilizers generally are used to assure rapid growth of new plantings of slash pine Pinus elliottii var. elliottii) and loblolly pine (P. taeda). Established stands of these species are boosted by mid- to late-rotation applications of nitrogen as urea or ammonium nitrate, or compound NP fertilizers. By mid-1978, 1,200,000 acres had been fertilized in the Northwest and 900,000 in the Southeast. Projections for the coming decade are that up to 500,000 acres will be treated annually in the West and about 250,000 in the South. Fertilizer for these purposes would total less than 1 percent of U.S. consumption in 1977. The supply situation, considered worldwide, is good for phosphate but somewhat uncertain for U.S. users of nitrogen.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Associate Dean, School of Forestry, Oregon State University, Corvallis

Publication date: April 1, 1979

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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