Research Branch

See below to download.

Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms in Container-grown Douglas-fir and White Spruce Seedlings

Author(s) or contact(s): R.J. van den Driessche
Source: Research Branch
Subject: Seedling Performance
Series: FRDA Report
Other details:  Published 1989. Hardcopy is available.


Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco) and white spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss) were grown in a container nursery at different levels of macro- and micronutrients to produce deficiency symptoms. In 1987, seedlings were grown in 3-13 styroblocks (PSB 313) using peat and perlite rooting medium, and each of the macronutrients was applied at four levels including 0. High levels were N = 200, P = 50, K = 100, Mg = 50, and S = 75 Mg L-1. of nutrient solution. Different levels of Ca were obtained by adding CaCO3 to the rooting medium. In 1988, seedlings were grown in perlite contained in Leech cells, and deionized water was used for preparing nutrient solutions and for watering. Four levels of the micronutrients Cu, Zn, Mn, Mo, B, and Fe were tested, with the fourth level about 10 times the usually recommended to look for toxicity symptoms.

Deficiency symptoms for all 12 elements except Ca, Mg, and Mo developed, as well as toxicity symptoms for Fe and Cu. Symptoms were photographed and seedlings were sampled in the middle of the growing season (June or July) and in October for measurement of height, dry weight and nutrient concentration in tissue. Nutrient deficiency symptoms are summarized, and nutrient concentrations expected in each species after 12 weeks growth are presented. During the first year of growth nutrient concentrations in actively growing seedlings appear to be substantially higher than concentrations regarded as adequate in dominant needles of older trees.

FRDA Research Report 100 (8622 KB)

cover to page 12 (4824 KB)

page 13 to end (3802 KB)

To view this document you need the current version of
Adobe Acrobat Reader, available free from the Adobe Web Site.

Updated July 24, 2015