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Deep Row Incorporation of Biosolids to Grow Hybrid Poplar Trees on Gravel Spoils in Southern Maryland: Impacts on Water Quality, Tree Growth & Survival, Profitability, and the Environment

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Deep row application to grow hybrid poplar trees on gravel spoils is a unique and innovative beneficial-use technique for applying biosolids that solves many of the conventional application problems. The technique has been developed on 49.4 ha (122 ac) site in the Washington, D.C. metro area since 1983 by a private company, ERCO, Inc. Intensive research has been carried out since 2001, and has been combined with long-term monitoring data to develop a better understanding of water quality impacts, operational methods, clonal selection, hybrid poplar growth and nutrition, and the factors affecting economics and profitability. There are no indications of nitrate leaching and the tree plantation systems are performing well. Given the large acreage of gravel spoils in the metro area, deep row application has the potential to utilize significant amounts of biosolids produced in the region.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-01-01

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