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Title: Container Size and Fertilization Affect Nursery Cost and Fifth-Year Field Performance of Cherrybark Oak

Author: Howell, Kirk D.; Harrington, Timothy B.;

Date: 2002

Source: In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 328-331

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Successful regeneration of bottomland hardwoods relies on the production of vigorous, plantable, and affordable stock by commercial nurseries. To quantify nursery cultural influences on subsequent field performance of cherrybark oak (Quercus pagoda Raf.), seedlings were grown in a greenhouse in small, medium, or large containers for three months with or without fertilization. In December 1994, seedlings were planted at a bottomland site near Milledgeville, GA with or without removal of the container soil as a method to reduce transport and planting costs. Estimated costs per thousand seedlings for these practices were about $1225, $560, and $185 for large, medium, and small containers, respectively. A 30 percent profit margin was added to each price. The incremental cost of fertilization per thousand seedlings was about $12, $6, and $2 for large, medium, and small treatments, respectively. Cost savings from container soil removal were substantial for the large containers, and savings decreased with decreasing container size. Five years after planting, survival of seedlings from large containers (97 percent) was significantly greater than that from small containers (85 percent). Soil removal was associated with reductions in seedling survival, but only in the absence of fertilization. Stem diameter and height of seedlings from small containers were less than those of seedlings from medium and large containers, and they were also significantly greater in the presence versus absence of fertilization. Fifth-year seedling size did not vary significantly between levels of soil removal. Nursery and fifth-year cost efficiencies were greatest for fertilized, soil removed, medium containers and for fertilized, small containers.

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Howell, Kirk D.; Harrington, Timothy B. 2002. Container Size and Fertilization Affect Nursery Cost and Fifth-Year Field Performance of Cherrybark Oak. In: Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-48. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 328-331

 


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