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Visual Grading and Quality of 1-0 Northern Red Oak Seedlings

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Past research has used detailed measurements of various growth characteristics to determine seedling grades and quality of northern red oak nursery stock. This study evaluates the effectiveness of a visual grading process, similar to those found in commercial nursery operations, to distinguish high quality seedlings. Northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) seedlings were grown for 1 yr at two state nurseries and visually separated into three grades (cull, good, or premium) according to root and shoot characteristics. Approximately 64% of the seedlings grown at each nursery were judged to be of unacceptable size for successful field regeneration. Number of first-order lateral roots (FOLR), height, and root collar diameter (RCD) were measured for seedlings in the good and premium grades. Premium grade seedlings were significantly larger than the good grade seedlings for both nurseries. Phenotypic correlations of growth traits were strongest between number of FOLR and RCD. The results demonstrate that high quality nursery stock can be visually selected into two distinguishable grades. South. J. Appl. For. 24(2):93-97.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Institute for Tree Root Biology, 320 Green St., Athens, Georgia 30602

Publication date: May 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • 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 Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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