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Proceedings of Past Forest Nursery Association Meetings:

Soil Fertility and Management for Culturing Hardwood Seedlings
C. B. Davey
1994: Williamsburg, VA
Nursery production of hardwood seedlings and cuttings is different than the production of pine seedlings in several important ways. Hardwoods need approximately twice as much water and significantly more of most nutrients, especially nitrogen and calcium. Hardwoods are generally produced from open-pollinated, wild seed. This results in large within-seed source variability in seedling size and vigor. Seed orchard seed has tended to reduce this variability some and to increase the average seedling size. Hardwoods are particularly sensitive to soil physical properties. Soil compaction, which results in high soil bulk-density, is very deleterious. This is due to impeded root growth and impaired gas and water movement in the soil. Some hardwoods are ectomycorrhizal, some are endomycorrhizal, and a few can be either or both. Most hardwoods must be grown at a much lower seedbed density than most pines. When this fact is coupled with higher irrigation and fertilization costs per acre, the cost per seedling becomes much higher for hardwoods than pines.
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