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Washing Roots Reduces Vigor of Loblolly Pine Seedlings

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Loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) seedlings were lifted from two nurseries in Georgia, and the roots were washed using equipment built for that purpose. Seedlings then received two levels of storage and were outplanted not far from the nursery of origin (one loam soil and one sandy soil). Immediately after washing, root weights and the length of fine roots did not differ among wash treatments from either nursery. Survival was excellent for all treatments on the loam soil, but a single wash reduced survival by 5 to 10% when seedlings were planted in sand. Washing slowed the rate of budbreak and early height growth. Bud growth of seedlings planted in a stress pit (containing sand) was correlated with both root growth 1 month after planting (r = 0.36, P = 0.0003) and survival 2 months after planting (r = 0.62, P = 0.01). Among seedlings outplanted on a sandy site, initial height growth also correlated with survival (r = 0.49, P = 0.007). South. J. Appl. For. 25(1):25–30.
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Keywords: Loblolly pine; Pinus taeda L.; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; root washing

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station, Auburn University, AL, 36849-5418 2: Bowater Forest Products Division Chatsworth, GA 3: Mead Coated Board, Phenix City, AL

Publication date: 2001-02-01

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