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Boron and Magnesium Fertilization of a Coastal Douglas-Fir Plantation

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This study examines the role of boron and magnesium nutrition in the occurrence of severe growth distortion symptoms in Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) in the Skwawka River valley of south coastal British Columbia. Four fertilizer treatments including boron (2.25 kg B/ha), magnesium (42 kg Mg/ha), boron plus magnesium, and a control, were applied in conjunction with planting on a site believed to be deficient in these nutrients. After 5 growing seasons, only treatments containing boron (B and B+Mg) showed improved height growth over the control trees. The incidence of leader dieback, swollen leading shoots, and foliage distortion was significantly related to treatment with virtually no occurrence in plots treated with boron. Seedling uptake of applied boron was high, with foliar concentrations of 45 ppm found after the second growing season. Foliar B levels declined to 13-15 ppm after 5 growing seasons. No significant increase in foliar magnesium levels was detected for either of the magnesium treatments. The reduction in the incidence of leader dieback and shoot and foliar symptoms in seedlings treated with B indicate that these symptoms were the result of boron deficiencies. This is the first study to verify boron deficiency in coastal Douglas-fir through fertilizer trials. West. J. Appl. For. 8(2):48-53.
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Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Fletcher Challenge Canada Ltd., 700 West Georgia St., Vancouver, B.C. V7Y 1J7

Publication date: 1993-04-01

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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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