Current issue: 54(3)
Root systems of a Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands of seed trees on a Vaccinium sites in Southern Finland were studied by taking soil samples around the seed trees. The results show that root system of an old Scots pine spreads relatively evenly around the tree up to at least 10 meters from the stem. The densest part of the root system is near the stem, which part is often acentric. This is probably due to root competition in the early stages of growth of the tree.
Root systems of the seed trees affect stocking of the site with seedlings and the growth of the seedlings. The root competition can cause, for instance, uneven grouping of the seedlings. It seems that the largest trees of a stand have the most even root system. It is therefore recommended to choose the strongest trees of the stand as seed trees, to ensure even distribution of seedlings.
The Acta Forestalia Fennica issue 61 was published in honour of professor Eino Saari’s 60th birthday.
The PDF includes a summary in German.
The purpose of the investigation was to study the amount, quality and distribution by layers of depth of horizontal roots in Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) and Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands in Southern Finland. The sample plots included stands on soil varying from sandy to stony, and stands of varying ages from seedling stands to an old stand, in Myrtillus and Vaccinium type forests.
In a Norway spruce stand, the amount of roots increases rapidly and reaches its maximum, about 450 meters/m3, at an age of 100-110 years. In a Scots pine stand the maximum, about 370 m/m3, is reached earlier, at an age of 60-70 years. The root system of pine expands more rapidly than that of spruce. The total length of the horizontal root system of pine amounts to 1,000 m soon after 40 years of growth, of spruce at the age of 60. Later the situation changes, and at the age of 110 the root systems of both species are about the same size, but older trees of spruce have more extensive root system.
Majority of horizontal roots are under 1 mm in diameter. Of the horizontal roots of spruce stands the majority lie in the humus layer and in the topmost mineral soil stratum. Over half of horizontal spruce roots are, thus, at a maximum depth of 5 cm, while majority of the roots of Scots pine lie at maximum in depth of 10 cm. At the same layer grow also the roots of the ground vegetation, which may affect the competition between the species.
The PDF includes a summary in English.