Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative
FIA Project 4350007

    Fertilization at planting via tea bags on western redcedar, interior Douglas-fir and interior spruce - Pyramid Creek: Third growing season [2005 Project Description Only]
 
Imprint: Prince George, B.C. : New Forest Treeworks, 2005
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA)
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative
Description:
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Frozen stored western redcedar, interior Douglas-fir and interior spruce spring plant PSB 412A StyroblockTM container seedlings were planted June 11, 2002 near Blue River British Columbia, in the very wet cool Interior Cedar – Hemlock biogeoclimatic subzone. Seedlings were planted 'as is', or fertilized by placing a package of slow release fertilizer (tea bag) in the soil near the seedling at planting. At greater than 99%, average third season survival of the spruce was excellent, survival of the Douglas-fir (93%) was good, and at 82%, survival of the cedar was somewhat low. Perhaps more importantly, fertilization via tea bags had little if any effect on mortality on this site. After three growing seasons (i.e. fall 2004), volume of the tea bag spruce was 49% greater than that of the non-fertilized controls, and volume of the tea bag cedar was 65% greater than the non-fertilized controls. Third season volume of the Douglas-fir was not significantly different between fertilized and control trees. After three growing seasons, diameter of the fertilized spruce and cedar was 16 and 24% greater, respectively, than the control seedlings. Third season diameter of the fertilized Douglas-fir was not significantly different from the non-fertilized control seedlings. Third season height of the fertilized spruce was 14% greater than that of the control trees, while height was not significantly different between fertilized and control Douglas-fir and cedar trees. Fertilization initially improved the nutrient status of all species, particularly nitrogen. However, by the end of the third growing season, foliar nutrient concentrations of the fertilized trees had declined and were now similar or less than those of the control trees. As the fertilization resulted in greater foliar biomass, the decline in nutrient concentration is most likely attributed to nutrient dilution resulting from the increased growth. The lack of difference in 2004 height increment suggest that control and fertilized trees of all species are now growing at the same rate. At this point, the additional growth of the fertilized trees has not had much affect on the trees’ ability in competing with the current vegetation. However, as average tree height only ranges from 50 to 75 cm, the trees are by no means free and clear yet. Although control and fertilized trees are now growing at the same rate, the larger size of the fertilized trees should better enable them to compete with the vegetation in the future. This trial is planned to be measured one more time after the fifth growing season.

Updated August 16, 2010 

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