Fertilization of 2-0 ponderosa pine seedlings in the nursery and field : morphology, physiology, and field performance Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/qj72pc87d

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  • Two-year-old ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws.) from two seed sources were grown at two nurseries. The Fremont seed source was raised at Bend and Stone Nursery; the Ochoco was grown at only the Bend Nursery. The seedlings were fertilized in late September-early October with nitrogen (N) or nitrogen plus potassium (NK). Foliar nutrient analysis at the time of lifting indicated both the N and NK treatments increased N concentration 7-10% in two of the three nursery/seed source combinations but had no effect on the Other. The added K had no effect on K concentrations. None of the nursery treatments had any significant effect on any of the morphological characteristics measured in all three nursery/seed source combinations. The N treated seedlings from both seed sources at the Bend nursery appeared to be less susceptible to frost damage. In seedlings from the same nursery, there were no differences in mean days to budbreak among any of the treatments. The seedlings were lifted from the nurseries and planted back to their respective seed source sites. One-half of the seedlings at both sites were fertilized with a slow-release fertilizer one month after planting. There were no nursery treatment or field fertilizer treatment differences in first-year survival, which ranged from 96- 100%, although there were slight survival differences between nurseries at the Fremont site. Foliar samples taken immediately before the slow-release fertilizer application indicated that the NK nursery treatment at the Fremont site was the only nursery treatment with increased N concentration. These seedlings grew 26% more than the control seedlings and 19% more than the N treated trees during their first growing season in the field. Compared to non-field fertilized trees, the field fertilized seedlings at the Fremont site had higher foliar N concentrations and contents and heavier fascicles by the end of the first growing season although the non-field fertilized trees grew 12% more. At the Ochoco field site, the nursery fertilizer and field fertilizer treatments had no effect on seedling N levels or first year survival and growth. At the beginning of the growing season at the Fremont site, seedlings from the Bend nursery had heavier fascicles and greater N concentrations and contents than the Stone Nursery's seedlings. However, the Stone Nursery trees grew 44% more during the first growing season. The seedlings responded differently depending upon the field site at which they were planted. A graphical representation of the changes in fascicle weight, nutrient concentration, and nutrient content during the first growing season assisted in the interpretation of the responses at the two sites and provided an indication of the potential for future growth. The fascicle weights and N concentrations and contents of the Fremont site (the harsher, less fertile location) trees decreased 23%, 14%, and 33% respectively. At the Ochoco, the fascicle weights decreased just 6% and N concentration increased 14% although Ochoco seedlings grew less than those on the Fremont during the first growing season. The higher nutrient levels and heavier fascicles exhibited by the Ochoco trees could be a good indicator of how those seedlings respond in the coming years. Second year results should be analyzed before any final conclusions are made about this study, especially concerning field fertilization and how the seedling responses vary by site.
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