Current issue: 55(2)
Yellowhorn (Xanthoceras sorbifolium Bunge) has been widely planted for biodiesel production in China, but has frequently shown poor field performance. Container-grown yellowhorn seedlings originating from three Chinese provenances, Wengniute Qi (WQ), Alukeerqin Qi (AQ), and Shanxian (SX), were fertilized with slow-release fertilizer (SRF) at 40, 80, 120, 160 or 200 mg N seedling–1. Tree growth, survival and nutrient content were measured after one year’s growth in a greenhouse followed by two years in a field site. Plants from AQ and SX tended to have higher stem and root P contents in the nursery. Higher rates of SRF increased root N, and stem and root P contents. After one year in the nursery, there were a number of interactions between provenance and SRF for plant growth responses and nutrient content in the nursery, however after two years of additional growth in the field, plants from the different provenances generally responded similarly to applied SRF in the nursery, with few interactions. Final plant height was approximately 10% lower in trees from provenance SX but was not affected by application of SRF. Conversely, final trunk diameter and stem and root biomass were unaffected by provenance but increased with higher rates of applied SRF. Our results indicate that application of SRF may be a useful tool to nutrient load yellowhorn in the nursery and facilitate transplanting performance in the field. Overall, optimal nursery and field performance of yellowhorn were observed in provenance AQ at 120–200 mg N seedling–1 SRF. We suggest that growers consider a wider range of yellowhorn provenances and SRF rates (above 200 mg N seedling–1) to yield even better growth response.
A time study was conducted to determine whether stem crowding had any impact on harvester productivity in Eucalyptus grandis stands. This represents an important element when trying to balance the advantages and disadvantages of coppice management in fast growing plantations designated for mechanized harvesting (i.e. machine felling, delimbing, debarking and cross-cutting). The study material consisted of 446 coppice stems, half of which grew as single stems per stool and half as double stems per stool as a result of different coppice reduction strategies. The dataset was balanced and randomized, with both subsets replicating exactly the same stem size distribution and the single and double stems alternating randomly. Harvester productivity ranged between 6 and 50 m3 under bark per productive machine hour, following the variation of tree diameter from 10 to 40 cm at breast height (1.37 m according to South African standards). Regression analysis indicated that both tree size and stem crowding (e.g. one or two stems per stool) had a significant effect on harvester productivity, which increased with stem size and decreased with stem crowding. However, operator experience may overcome the effect of stem crowding, which was not significant when the harvester was manned by a highly experienced operator. In any case, the effect of stem size was much greater than that of stem crowding, which resulted in a cost difference of less than 10%. However, this figure excludes the possible effects of stem crowding on volume recovery and stem development, which should be addressed in the future.
For biomass forestry in the inland parts of Southern and Central Finland, the obvious choice of willow species is Salix myrsinifolia. However, selection of clones of indigenous species has not yet been completed and more research and selection is needed. In the Piipsanneva old peatland trial, indigenous species of willow, mostly clones of S. myrsinifolia and S. phylicifolia, were compared in terms of biomass production, coppicing, height growth and diameter distributions. In this trial, the mean annual biomass production was not particularly high; more important results were attained in the ranking of clones. The trial strengthens the hypothesis that, over the long-term, the biomass production of S. myrsinifolia is higher than that of S. phylicifolia. It was supposed that behind the highest yield there was a clone with uniform quality, one whose diameter distribution would be narrow and positively skewed. Comparisons of parameters of Weibull functions showed that the distributions of the best clones were wide, indicating that those clones use the whole growth space better than those with narrow distribution.
Growth and nutrition of 20 clones representing different species and interspecific hybrids of willows (Salix spp.) growing on an abandoned field were studied. There were highly significant differences between the clones as regards the survival, number of sprouts per stool, sprout mean height and diameter and stem biomass production per stool. The differences between the clones in the concentration of all nutrients in both the leaves and stems were highly significant.
Salix 'Aquatica Gigantea', widely experimented and promising species for temperate zone short rotation forestry, has since 1950 recorded in Finland 23 times with different clone numbers. Salix x dasyclados Wimm., by morphological, cultivational and productivity characteristics similar willow has been recorded 16 times.
The nomenclature and origin of both willows have remained unclear in field research. Recent observations, based on morphological analyses and chromosome studies suggest that ’Aguatica gigantea’ and most S. x dasuclados clones can be collected under one Siberian species: Salix burjatica Nasarov. The true Salix x dasyclados Wimm. is a female hybrid S. x viminalis x cinerea, famous West-European basket willow that has been very little experimented in Finland.
The PDF includes an abstract in Finnish.
The effect of spacing on the first-year yield and height increment of Alnus incana (L.) Moench, Populus tremula L. x Populus tremuloides Michx. (Populus x wettsteinii), Salix ’Aquatica Gigantea’, and Salix phylicifolia L. was studied at the Arctic Circle Agricultural Experimental Station in Northern Finland. S. ’Aquatica Gigantea’ gave yields which were twice as high as those of the other species in the study. The highest yields were of the order of 60 tons per hectare (fresh yield including foliage). The annual height growth in S. ’Aquatica Gigantea’ was about 100 cm, in the others about 30–50 cm. S. ’Aquatica Gigantea’ had a maximal height growth when the distance between the seedlings was 25 cm.
The PDF includes a summary in English.