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Response of juvenile-spaced lodgepole pine to nitrogen and boron fertilization (E.P. 886.05)


Nitrogen (N) deficiencies are widespread and serious in lodgepole pine forests throughout the interior of British Columbia. However, foliar nutrient data collected from fertilization research trials in the mid- 1980's indicated that boron (B) deficiencies, either induced or aggravated by N fertilization, limited growth response on some sites. Morphologically, the most prominent symptoms are top dieback and multi-leadered, bushy crowns.

This study was established in 1984 at a site adjacent to a N fertilization research trial diagnosed as B deficient based on extremely low foliar B concentration and top dieback following N additions.


To investigate the effects of N and B, applied singly and in combination, on the foliar nutrition and growth of thinned lodgepole pine in north central British Columbia.


The study was designed as a 3 x 2 factorial experiment: three levels of B (0, 1.5, and 3.0 kg/ha) and two levels of N (0 and 200 kg/ha). An additional granulated "complete" fertilizer mix was used to assist in identifying other nutrients that may be limiting growth on the study site. Each of the seven treatments was randomly assigned to 15, "single-tree" plots. Fertilizer was applied by hand to a 5 m radius area surrounding each selected "plot" tree.

The installation was measured at the time of establishment and again after 3, 6 and 9 years. Measurements included diameter at breast height, total height, height to live crown, tree form and damage. Foliar nutrient data were also obtained from all treatment plots prior to fertilization and at the time of each re-measurement.

The study is now inactive.


Brockley, R. P. 1990. Response of thinned, immature lodgepole pine to nitrogen and boron fertilization. Can. J. For. Res. 20:579-585.

Brockley, R.P. 2000. Using foliar variables to predict the response of lodgepole pine to nitrogen and sulphur fertilization. Can. J. For. Res. 30: 1389-1399.

Brockley, R.P. 2003. Effects of nitrogen and boron fertilization on foliar boron nutrition and growth in two different lodgepole pine ecosystems. Can. J. For. Res. 33: 988-996.

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Last Modified: 2007 APR 20.  Ministry contact: Frank van Thienen