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Nursery Practices Influence Seedling Morphology, Field Performance, and Cost Efficiency of Containerized Cherrybark Oak

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To quantify effects of nursery practices on seedling cost and performance, cherrybark oaks (Quercus pagoda L.) were grown in three container sizes (170, 650, or 1,250 cm3) with or without fertilization and then planted Dec. 1995 at a site near Milledgeville, GA, with or without removal of container soil. Initial size, biomass, and leaf area of seedlings grown in medium and large containers were up to twice those grown in small containers, and they were greater with versus without fertilization. Price efficiency (stem volume divided by estimated nursery price of 1,000 seedlings) was greatest for medium and large containers with soil removed and hypothetically reused. Differences in stem diameter and height due to container size and fertilization continued to diverge through the fifth year after planting. Fifth-year yield (stem volume × proportionate survival of 1,000 planted seedlings) increased 104, 56, and 31% with increasing container size and with fertilization and soil removal, respectively. Cost efficiency (fifth-year yield divided by costs compounded 5 years at 5% interest) was greatest for medium and large containers with soil removed. Joint comparisons of nursery costs, planting costs, and field performance for different seedling stock types provide an objective approach for prioritizing cultural treatments in forestry. South. J. Appl. For. 28(3):152–162.
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Keywords: Seedling quality; benefit-cost ratio; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest regeneration; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; plantation

Document Type: Regular Article

Affiliations: 1: Timberwolf International, Inc. 1539 Oakhill Rd. Auburn GA 30011 Phone: at (770) 995-5242;, Fax: (770) 995-5242, Email: [email protected] 2: USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station 3625 93rd Avenue SW Olympia WA 98512

Publication date: 2004-08-01

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