Late termination of freezer storage increases the risk of autumn frost damage to Norway spruce seedlings
Hänninen H., Luoranen J., Rikala R., Smolander H. (2009). Late termination of freezer storage increases the risk of autumn frost damage to Norway spruce seedlings. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 5 article id 175. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.175
Over the last few years it has become increasingly common in artificial forest regeneration to extend the planting period by using freezer-stored seedlings for early summer plantings. Developmentally, however, planted freezer-stored seedlings lag behind seedlings planted earlier in the spring. As freezer-stored seedlings also start hardening later, they are more susceptible to early autumn frosts, especially in years when the thermal growing season ends and the first autumn frosts come earlier than usual. By means of computer simulations with a simple temperature sum model and long-term air-temperature data from three locations in Finland, we examined the effect of the freezer-storage termination date on the risk of autumn frost damage to the seedlings. The long-term simulations revealed a drastic effect of year-to-year variation in the thermal conditions during the growing season on the occurrence of autumn frost damage. Such results provide crucial information complementary to those obtained in field experiments, which are always restricted to a relatively short time period. Together with earlier field data, the present results suggest that at an average regeneration site in central Finland, the planting of seedlings whose storage has terminated on 15 June and 22 June involve autumn frost damage every tenth and every fifth year, respectively. The sensitivity analysis revealed that the temperature sum requirement of maturation has a great effect on the risk of autumn frost damage, thus pinpointing the need for experimental studies addressing this ecophysiological trait of the seedlings.
Received 22 October 2008 Accepted 7 July 2009 Published 31 December 2009