Frost hardening and risk of a second flush in Norway spruce seedlings after an early-season short-day treatment
Luoranen J., Konttinen K., Rikala R. (2009). Frost hardening and risk of a second flush in Norway spruce seedlings after an early-season short-day treatment. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 2 article id 209. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.209
There have been years in Finland when container seedlings of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karsten) planted in the summer have been damaged by early-autumn frosts. For August and September plantings, the seedlings can be hardened by means of short-day (SD) treatment, but little information is available about its usability for earlier plantings. We studied the effects of early-season SD treatment on the frost hardiness and risk of a second flush of Norway spruce seedlings. In three successive years, second-year seedlings were grown in a greenhouse or outdoors in the spring and early summer and then subjected to two or three-week SD treatment beginning on the second, third, or fourth week of June. We monitored the height growth cessation, bud formation, and frost hardiness of the seedlings in the nursery. All SD treatments made the height growth cease, but the risk of a second flush increased if the temperature sum was less than 300 d.d. before the beginning of the SD treatment or more than 450 d.d. between the end of the treatment and mid-August. Clearly, then, SD treatment reduced the risk of a second flush in seedlings that had been grown in a greenhouse in the spring. Early-season SD treatment increased the frost hardiness of both needles and stems for late July to early September in comparison with untreated seedlings. Later in the autumn, however, the differences disappeared. Before recommending the use of early-season SD-treated seedlings for summer planting, the method has to be tested in practical field conditions.
Received 9 May 2008 Accepted 10 February 2009 Published 31 December 2009