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Proceedings of Past Forest Nursery Association Meetings:

Nursery Growing Density and Container Volume Affect Nursery and Field Growth of Douglas-fir and Lodgepole Pine Seedlings
Simpson, D.G.
1994: Moscow, ID
Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine were grown for a single growing season (24 - 28 weeks) in containers that varied in cell volume from 45 to 120 mL, and at nursery growing densities of 64 to 1111 seedlings per square meter (seedling growing space 9 to 156 cm2). Seedlings grown in 45 mL containers were consistently smaller (shorter; smaller root collar diameter; less dry weight) than seedlings grown in larger (57 - 120 mL) containers. At greater nursery growing densities, seedlings were taller, with smaller root collar diameters, and with less root, stem, and foliage dry weight. Maximum crop biomass (1.4 kg per square meter) and maximum seedling basal area production (0.4 mm 2 basal area / cm2 growing space) was reached at growing densities of aprox. 600 seedlings per square meter. Field growth for 3 years (lodgepole pine) or 4 years (Douglas-fir) suggests that seedlings widely varying in size at planting, grew at similar relative growth rates thus preserving the size ranking of nursery treatments. Comparing the growth of treatments with the smallest and largest seedlings, suggests there is less than a single year time difference for stock to reach a similar size.
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