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Influence of Sulfometuron Methyl on American Chestnut Seedling Growth and Leaf Function

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The expected production, dissemination, and planting of blight-resistant hybrid chestnut seedlings calls for anticipatory studies to establish optimal management practices. To test phytotoxic potential of a site preparation herbicide, seedling growth and physiological function were measured for potted American chestnut (Castanea dentata [Marsh.] Borkh.). Six concentrations (0.0, 0.026, 0.053, 0.105, 0.158, and 0.210 kg active ingredient [ai] ha−1) of sulfometuron methyl (Oust) were applied to pots in April 2008, which were planted with 1 + 0 seedlings in May, and grown until November 2008. Changes in height, rootcollar diameter, and root volume and length were measured. A portable photosynthesis system was used to measure net photosynthesis, stomatal conductance, and transpiration. Seedlings treated with label-recommended doses (0.105‐0.210 kg [ai] ha−1) showed growth and leaf function suppression, including 55, 71, and 82% reductions in height growth, root volume, and net photosynthesis, respectively. These results indicate that a strong need exists for field trials, with various dose regimes, to be conducted to refine an application rate that minimizes phytotoxic damage while still providing suitable control of competition vegetation.

Keywords: American chestnut; herbicide; phytotoxic; restoration; site preparation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Northern Journal of Applied Forestry covers northeastern, midwestern, and boreal forests in the United States and Canada.
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