Category: Research article
article id 7813, category Research article
Autumn versus spring planting: the initiation of root growth and subsequent field performance of Scots pine and Norway spruce seedlings. Silva Fennica vol. 52 no. 2 article id 7813. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7813
Highlights: Conifer seedlings planted after mid-September generally have poor rooting, which causes poor root egress during the following spring; Although Scots pine and Norway spruce seedlings planted in late autumn may have a slightly reduced growth, it is possible to plant them if weather conditions are favorable in late-autumn, without increased mortality.
There is a need to extend the planting season of conifer regeneration into periods where the soil remains unfrozen due to a lack of available labor and the mechanization of planting. This study investigated how the summer- (August) and autumn-, especially late autumn (mid-September to mid-October) plantings affect the field performance of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) container seedlings. This study examined the timing of root growth just after planting, shoot flush and the start of root growth the following spring, and subsequent field performance. Seedlings of both species were planted in a nursery field trial, and in a clearcut reforestation site from August to October and the following May. The root growth of planted seedlings declined in September and ceased after mid-September. In the following spring, seedlings which were planted in early-autumn started their root growth faster than late-autumn-planted seedlings in both species. There was no difference in the timing of shoot flush for various planting dates. During the initial two years after planting, the shoot growth of spring-planted seedlings was lower, compared to autumn-planted seedlings. In conclusion, it is possible to plant conifer seedlings in the boreal forest zone up to October under non-limiting field conditions.
article id 7759, category Research article
Reduced height of short day induced bud scale complex may partly explain early bud burst in Norway spruce seedlings. Silva Fennica vol. 51 no. 5 article id 7759. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.7759
Highlights: Short day treatment used in tree seedling nurseries affects the structure of apical buds; Changes in bud structure may partly explain early bud burst and may be a reason for unburst buds of short day treated seedlings.
Short day (SD) treatment is used as a dormancy induction in forest tree seedling nurseries in the boreal forest zone. However, SD treatment has caused early bud burst in the following spring, which may expose the seedlings to spring frosts. Because the mechanisms affecting earlier bud burst in SD treated seedlings are not fully understood yet, here we have studied the effect of SD treatment on the structure of buds in Norway spruce [Picea abies (L.) Karst.] seedlings. Seedlings were exposed to SD treatments or natural (CTRL) light and photoperiod in July in a nursery in Central Finland. The experiments included two lots of seedlings over two summers and the analyses were done under a stereo microscope. SD treatment advanced initiation of bud scales and formation of needle primordia, and thus the formation period was shorter in CTRL seedlings. In mature buds, no differences in primordial shoots were found between the treatments, whereas notable differences were found in bud scales. The SD buds had fewer and shorter bud scales than the CTRL buds. This led to significantly shorter bud scale complex and, consequently, to shorter buds in SD than in CTRL seedlings. Buds and needles matured earlier in SD treated seedlings. In the following spring, the primordial shoots started to elongate in both treatments around mid-May, when the SD buds started to break down, whereas CTRL buds started to break down in late May. The fewer number and shorter height of protective bud scales may expose buds to harsh winter temperatures and early loss of scales may predispose the SD buds to spring frosts.
article id 1300, category Research article
Post-planting effects of early-season short-day treatment and summer planting on Norway spruce seedlings. Silva Fennica vol. 49 no. 1 article id 1300. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1300
Highlights: Summer planting and short-day treatment advanced the bud burst and increased the height of Norway spruce seedlings after planting, compared to autumn and spring planted or untreated seedlings.
Effects of short-day (SD) treatment on bud burst, growth and survival of Norway spruce (Picea abies [L.] Karst.) container seedlings after summer planting were studied in an experiment established in Suonenjoki, Central Finland. One-year-old seedlings were SD-treated for three weeks starting on 18 June, 24 June and 8 July 2004 and then planted on 22 July, 5 August, 6 September 2004 and, as a normal spring planting, on 10 May, 2005. Untreated control seedlings were also planted on these dates. Second flush on the planting year and bud burst the following spring was monitored in planted seedlings, whereas seedling height and survival were determined at the end of growing seasons 2004–2006. We observed a non-significant risk of a second flush if seedlings were SD-treated on 18 June. Also, SD-treated seedlings planted in July or August showed advanced bud burst and increased height the following growing season without significant effects on survival, compared to autumn and spring planted seedlings. Planting in July or early August was associated with a significant increase in the incidence of multiple leaders in later years. Based on our results, to begin a three-week SD treatment in late June or early July and then plant seedlings in late July or early August could be a good practice.
article id 893, category Research article
Soil preparation method affects outplanting success of Norway spruce container seedlings on till soils susceptible to frost heave. Silva Fennica vol. 47 no. 1 article id 893. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.893
Soil preparation is a common practice that precedes outplanting of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) in Finland as it enhances the survival and early growth of seedlings. Mounding in particular has become more common with Norway spruce planting in recent years. However, on fine-grained soils, the postplanting performance of seedlings has been poorer than on coarser soils even with mounding. This study examined the effects of different soil preparation treatments (spot and ditch mounding with varying mound height, inverting, unprepared control with or without a herbicide) on the postplanting performance of Norway spruce container seedlings on till soil susceptible to frost heave in two outplanting forest sites in central Finland. The results indicate higher soil temperature and lower soil water content especially in the highest mounds. Mounds, however, subsided gradually during the study years. Seedling mortality was higher and the proportion of vigorous seedlings was lower in the unprepared treatments, mainly due to increased pine weevil (Hylobius abietis L.) damage. Frost heave was present mainly on ditch mounded and inverted spots. Glyphosate herbicide treatment showed no benefit compared to the untreated control in two years. Consequently, seedling damage and conditions in the planting spots were reflected in seedling growth which was enhanced in the mounded spots. However, varying mound height or thickness of mineral capping showed no clear difference in seedling growth. The results therefore suggest that ditch or spot mounding should be used on frost heave susceptible forest soils to promote plantation establishment. Inverting or having no soil preparation with or without herbicide is not recommended.
article id 107, category Research article
Machine planting of Norway spruce by Bracke and Ecoplanter: an evaluation of soil preparation, planting method and seedling performance. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 3 article id 107. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.107
We evaluated the effects of planting date and planting machine (Bracke: three machines, 69 regeneration areas in three years; Ecoplanter: six areas, two years) on the quality and field performance one and three years after planting of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings in central Finland. Both machine types planted on average 1800 seedlings per hectare, and after three years approximately 1600 (Bracke) and 1200 (Ecoplanter) were still alive. This study suggests that planting with a Bracke machine can achieve better regeneration rates than those observed in privately-owned Finnish forests. We characterized the quality of mounding and planting with the Bracke machine as excellent and that of the Ecoplanter as good. The soil preparation method of the Ecoplanter produced humus-rich mounds where seedlings were susceptible to pine weevils and consequently suffered higher mortality. Different machines were used in different regional areas and each machine was operated by different driver/s which may have influenced the results. No negative effects of planting date were observed. Seedling growth decreased if they were tall in relation to their root plug volume, grown too densely in the nursery, and if stored in the field for several months prior to planting. We conclude that mechanized planting is successful when the soil preparation method produces mounds covered by purely mineral soil. Planting from May to the end of September is suitable for seedlings intended for use during this period.
article id 105, category Research article
Nutrient loading of Norway spruce seedlings hastens bud burst and enhances root growth after outplanting. Silva Fennica vol. 45 no. 3 article id 105. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.105
We studied the effects of late season nutrient loading (NLOAD) on the timing of bud burst, growth and changes in nitrogen (N) concentrations in the first growing season after seedlings were outplanted. Two-year-old Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings with three foliar nitrogen concentration levels (NLOAD levels 11.3, 22.5 and 27.5 g N kg-1 for L, M- and H-seedlings, respectively) were examined in the following three experiments: root growth capacity test (RGC), rooting experiment in the field and soil fertility experiment (‘rich’ or ‘poor’ soil) in the field. Bud burst in RGC was monitored daily and foliar N concentration (field experiments), height and root growth (rooting experiment) at monthly intervals. With respect to the RGC test, no differences in root growth were observed among the three NLOAD levels, but buds of H-seedlings burst 2–6 days earlier than others. In the rooting experiment, nutrient loading increased height and root growth but did not affect the timing of height growth. In the soil fertility experiment, foliar N of H- and M-seedlings decreased rapidly, but the decline was slower in rich soil. Current-year needles had more N in seedlings growing in rich soil and the N concentration declined until height growth ceased whereafter it increased until autumn. Improved growth from nutrient loading seems to last only for the first season after planting and the greatest benefits are enjoyed by seedlings planted in poor soils.
article id 175, category Research article
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.
article id 210, category Research article
Nutrient loading has a transitory effect on the nitrogen status and growth of outplanted Norway spruce seedlings. Silva Fennica vol. 43 no. 2 article id 210. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.210
In recent years increased fertilization provided to tree seedlings in the nursery in the previous autumn has been introduced in order to promote good outplanting performance. In this paper this nutrient loading has been studied in order to determine how the increased seedling nutrient status with unaffected seedling size affects both the growth and the nutrient concentration, content and uptake of two-year-old Norway spruce container seedlings (Picea abies (L.) Karsten) after outplanting. Seedling development was monitored for three years at two contrasting soil fertility levels on a sandy test field in two planting years and on one natural forest outplanting site in central Finland. Nutrient loading was shown to increase shoot and root growth in a poor fertility soil during the first growing season after planting, while, after the first growing season, nutrient loading was not found to affect seedling performance. However, although nutrient loading cannot compensate for the availability of nutrients to the seedlings from the soil, it may provide an additional input for fast plantation establishment on poorer sites during the first crucial growing season after outplanting.
article id 209, category Research article
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.
article id 342, category Research article
Field performance of hybrid aspen clones planted in summer. Silva Fennica vol. 40 no. 2 article id 342. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.342
We investigated the possibility to plant clonal hybrid aspen (Populus tremula x tremuloides) during the summer of propagation when the plants are 20–25 cm tall and only a few months old. In four experiments carried out in years 1998–2001, survival of summer-planted hybrid aspens was at least as high as that of hybrid aspen planted in autumn and spring. In all experiments, compared to planting in September or the following May, height growth was greater with planting in July and early August. Root egress of hybrid aspens planted in July and August was also greater than that of aspens planted in autumn or the following spring. Summer planting was thus possible both with plants produced by micropropagation and with those produced from root cuttings.
article id 361, category Research article
Extending the planting period of dormant and growing Norway spruce container seedlings to early summer. Silva Fennica vol. 39 no. 4 article id 361. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.361
In order to make mechanized planting economically viable, the present spring planting period for Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings in Scandinavia needs to be extended. To evaluate the possibilities to extend the planting period, six field experiments were established in four years during which frozen-stored, dormant seedlings and actively growing seedlings targeted for spring planting were planted regularly from mid-May to mid-July or the end of August. The survival of actively growing seedlings did not differ between planting dates from mid-May to mid-July. For dormant seedlings, however, the later in summer they were planted the lower was the survival. Oversized seedlings grown in the nursery in containers of too small volume, which were usually planted after mid-June, resulted in reduced growth of seedlings after planting. Root egress (growth of roots from root plugs into the surrounding soil) was most rapid in July and early August and slowest in May and September. Results showed that with dormant seedlings the planting period can be extended from May to mid-June without increasing mortality or reducing growth. The planting period for seedlings stored outdoors and those seedlings that were already growing in June for the purpose of spring plantings can be extended even longer, but it must be kept in mind that the risk of mechanical damage and reduced growth increase due to brittleness of the shoot and increased height. Further research is needed to evaluate the risks in practical scale plantings and with seedlings that are specially targeted for planting after mid-June.
Category: Research note
article id 1496, category Research note
Using a bivariate generalized linear mixed model to analyze the effect of feeding pressure on pine weevil damage. Silva Fennica vol. 50 no. 1 article id 1496. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.1496
Highlights: Probability of damage of treated seedlings can be predicted from the probability of damage of control seedlings (feeding pressure).
The objective of the study is to derive a method by which one can analyze how the probability of damage made by pine weevils on seedlings treated with insecticides depends on the probability of damage on untreated control seedlings, called feeding pressure. Because the probabilities vary from stand to stand and from block to block, the analysis is done using a generalized linear mixed model. The dependency of probability of damage on the feeding pressure cannot be properly analyzed using observed relative frequency of damage of control seedlings as a covariate, but it can be analyzed using a bivariate model. One equation describes damage of control seedlings and another equation damage of treated seedlings. The random stand and block effects of different equations are correlated. For a given probability of stand level control seedling damage, the random stand effect for control seedlings can be computed using a link function, then random stand effects for treated seedlings can be predicted using the best linear predictor from the random effect for control seedlings. Using an inverse link the prediction can again be presented in the probability scale which is of interest to the user. Using these three steps the probability of damage of treated seedlings can be predicted from the control damage probability. The probability of damage of treated seedlings can also be predicted from the observed relative frequency of damaged control seedlings using simulation. The complementary log-log link was used for control seedlings and the log-log link for treated seedlings.
article id 71, category Research note
Soil preparation reduces pine weevil (Hylobius abietis L.) damage on both peatland and mineral soil sites one year after planting. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 1 article id 71. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.71
We studied pine weevil (Hylobius abietis (L.)) feeding damage to Norway spruce and Scots pine seedlings planted in regeneration areas located on peatlands or on mineral soil sites in Southern and Central Finland. The survey included two planting years and a total of 60 regeneration areas (40 areas on peatlands and 20 on mineral soil sites). Some sites classified as peatland were as transformed or transforming drained peatlands that also contained mineral soil on a prepared surface. The soil preparation method, type of surface material around a seedling, pine weevil, vole-induced or other damage and the health of each seedling were observed in systematically selected circular sample plots. There was slightly more pine weevil damage on peatland than on mineral soil sites. More seedlings were damaged on unprepared peat and humus than on a prepared surface. Seedlings surrounded by a prepared surface had a slightly greater risk of being gnawed by pine weevil when planted on prepared peat compared to planting on prepared mineral soil. Vole damage was observed only in one region during one year. Mounded areas had slightly less vole damage than patched areas. In order to reduce damage caused by pine weevils and voles, it is important to scarify the regeneration area properly before insecticide-treated seedlings are planted. Mounding and patching are recommended so that seedlings can be planted in mineral soil whenever possible, even in the case of peatlands.
article id 421, category Research note
Effect of thawing duration and temperature on field performance of frozen-stored Norway spruce container seedlings. Silva Fennica vol. 38 no. 3 article id 421. https://doi.org/10.14214/sf.421
Increasing use of frozen storage in nurseries at northern latitudes calls for thawing methods that are safe, economical and easy to apply on a large scale. The easiest and most economical method would be to thaw seedlings in the same boxes they were stored in. However, doing this safely requires more knowledge about how long and at what temperatures seedlings should or can be kept in the boxes without reducing field performance. In this study, 1-yr-old frozen-stored Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) container seedlings were thawed for 4, 8 or 16 days at 4 or 12 °C in cardboard boxes before planting on a reforestation site and on experimental field in mid-June. Some seedlings were also planted on these locations after thawing for only 7 hours at 12 °C in order to separate frozen root plugs. We found some evidence that planting seedlings after short thawing periods (7 hours at 12 °C and 4 days at 4 °C), under which conditions the root plugs remain completely or partly frozen, has a negative effect on field performance of Norway spruce seedlings. Thawing over a 4-8 day period in cardboard boxes at ca. 12 °C appears to ensure complete thawing of the root plugs and unaffected field performance, but is short enough to prevent the growth of mould.