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Effect of Controlled-Release Fertilizers on Growth and Mycorrhizae in Container-Grown Engelmann Spruce

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Two controlled-release NPK formulations (Osmocote and Nutricote) and one micronutrient formulation (Micromax) were added as supplements to soluble fertilizer and evaluated for their effects on seedling growth and mycorrhizal development of 1-0 container-grown seedlings of Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii). Seedlings supplemented with Osmocote or Nutricote had lower root weight, but greater shoot length, stem caliper, and total weight than controls receiving only soluble fertilizer. Addition of Micromax did not alter growth compared to controls, but Micromax plus Osmocote decreased shoot length and shoot:root ratio compared to Osmocote alone. Micromax plus Nutricote increased shoot length compared to Nutricote alone. Five types of mycorrhizal fungi established naturally during the study. Osmocote was most detrimental to mycorrhizal intensity and diversity; nonsupplemented controls had highest mycorrhizal diversity. Modest reductions in fertility can be used to increase root weight and diversity of mycorrhizal fungi. West. J. Appl. For. 4(4):129-131, October 1989.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Balco Canfor Reforestation Centre Ltd., R.R. 3, Kamloops, B.C. V2C 5K1

Publication date: 1989-10-01

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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 Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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