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Proceedings of Past Forest Nursery Association Meetings:

Influence of Initial Seedling Size and Browse Protection on Height Growth: 5-Year Results
Jeffrey S. Ward
1996: New England, CT
Six plots were established in 1990 to examine the influence of initial seedling size and deer browsing protection on height growth for 5 tree species. Protective devices included plastic mesh and Reemay sleeves (60 cm), and Tubex and Corrulite tree shelters (120 and 180 cm). Species included northern red oak, black walnut, eastern white pine, Norway spruce, and eastern hemlock. Stem length, root length, root collar diameter, and number of twigs and first-order lateral roots were measured prior to planting. After 5 growing seasons, hardwood and white pine seedlings within tree shelters were significantly taller than seedlings protected by plastic mesh and spunbonded polypropylene sleeves. Mortality was lower for seedlings protected by tree shelters. Seedling height after 5 growing seasons was independent of initial seedling size for seedlings protected by tree shelters. Larger seedlings were taller after 5 growing seasons, and had lower mortality, than smaller seedlings. Severe grading may reduce gross nursery production, but would increase planting efficiency by increasing the proportion of seedlings that develop into large saplings.

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