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Silva Fennica 1926-1997
Acta Forestalia Fennica

Articles containing the keyword 'wood ash'

Category: Article

article id 7637, category Article
Jouko Silvola, Jukka Välijoki, Heikki Aaltonen. (1985). Effect of draining and fertilization on soil respiration at three ameliorated peatland sites. Acta Forestalia Fennica vol. 0 no. 191 article id 7637.
Keywords: wood ash; soil respiration; drained peatlands; nitrogen fertilization; groundwater table; PK fertilization
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info

Soil respiration readings are reported for three ameliorated peatland sites of different types, covering a period of four years, during which the sites were drained and treated with various fertilizers. Respiration is shown to increase exponentially with temperature, varying mostly in the range 100–500 mg CO2 m-2 h-1. The changes in soil respiration followed those in surface temperature with a time-lag of approximately 3–3.5 hours. At one site, where the groundwater table dropped by about 0.5 m after ditching, soil respiration increased 2.5-fold within a few weeks, whereas at the other two sites both the fall in the groundwater table and the resultant changes in soil respiration were small.

The fertilizers tested were slow-dissolving PK, fast-dissolving PK, wood ash, slow-dissolving PK + urea, slow-dissolving PK + Nitroform (urea formaldehyde) and slow-dissolving PK + urea + a micro-element mixture. Application of fast-dissolving PK + urea led to a rapid increase in soil respiration at the site poorest in nutrients, and slow-dissolving PK to a slow increase in respiration. The greatest, steady increase of all was achieved by treatment with ash. At the sites with a higher natural nutrient content the application of fertilizers usually led to a decline in soil respiration lasting 1–2 years, after which the initial level was normally regained. Treatment with micro-elements caused an initial fall in soil respiration values in all three biotopes, followed by a pronounced increase.

The PDF includes a summary in Finnish.

  • Silvola, E-mail: js@mm.unknown (email)
  • Välijoki, E-mail: jv@mm.unknown
  • Aaltonen, E-mail: ha@mm.unknown

Category: Research article

article id 10259, category Research article
Jyrki Hytönen, Hannu Hökkä. (2020). Comparison of granulated and loose ash in fertilisation of Scots pine on peatland. Silva Fennica vol. 54 no. 2 article id 10259.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; wood ash; nutrition; fertilisation; granulation; PK fertiliser
Highlights: Granulated ash and commercial PK fertilizer increased stand growth in similar way during 15-year study period; Loose ash gave stronger and faster response than granulated ash.
Abstract | Full text in HTML | Full text in PDF | Author Info

The effects of wood ash fertilisation on tree nutrition and growth on forested peatlands has been studied using loose ash, but in practice, ash fertilisation is done almost exclusively with granulated ash. In this study, the effects of granulated ash and loose ash (both 5 Mg ha–1) on the growth and nutrition of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) stands were compared between a nitrogen-poor and a nitrogen-rich site over 15 years. On the nitrogen-rich site, wood ash application was also compared with commercial PK fertilisation. On the nitrogen-rich site, mean stand volume growth increase over unfertilised control treatment during the 15 year study period using granulated ash and commercial PK fertiliser was of the same magnitude (on average, 2.2–2.3 m3 ha–1 a–1). However, when loose ash was used growth increase over control was higher (3.7 m3 ha–1 a–1). On the nitrogen-poor site, the mean growth increase gained by loose or granulated ash (1.4–1.5 m3 ha–1 a–1) over the unfertilised control treatment was not significant. Fertilisation with loose ash or PK increased foliar P, K and B concentrations already in the first or second growing season, following fertilisation on both sites. Granulated ash increased foliar P concentrations on the nitrogen-rich site less than loose ash. After an initial increase, foliar P, K and B concentrations decreased at the end of study period. On the nitrogen-poor site, foliar P concentrations were below the deficiency limit by the end of the study period.

  • Hytönen, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Natural Resources, Teknologiakatu 7, FI-67100 Kokkola, Finland ORCID E-mail: (email)
  • Hökkä, Natural Resources Institute Finland, Natural Resources, Paavo Havaksentie 3, FI-90570 Oulu, Finland E-mail:
article id 48, category Research article
Jyrki Hytönen, Lasse Aro. (2012). Biomass and nutrition of naturally regenerated and coppiced birch on cutaway peatland during 37 years. Silva Fennica vol. 46 no. 3 article id 48.
Keywords: Betula; biomass production; coppicing; fertilization; PK fertilizers; wood ash
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
Biomass production and nutrient use of birch thickets with a mixture of willow on a cut away peatland in southern Finland over a period of 37 years was studied. Dense, naturally regenerated 16-year-old birch stands were cut down, fertilized with either wood ash (P 108 and K 339 kg ha–1) or PK fertilizer (P 50 and K 95 kg ha–1) or left unfertilized. The biomass production of the coppiced stands and one uncut stand was monitored for a period of 21 years. Soil nutrient and foliar nutrient concentrations were analyzed several times during the study period. Ash fertilization supplied more nutrients than PK fertilization and increased the soil nutrient amounts more. The foliar phosphorus concentration of birch on control plots indicated a severe phosphorus deficiency which was removed by PK and ash fertilization. Fertilization did not increase nutrient concentrations of the stem (wood + bark) nor the amount of nutrients bound in the biomass. Two energy wood rotations (16+21 years) produced 124–158 Mg ha–1 of leafless, above-ground biomass altogether corresponding to 61–78 Mg ha–1 of carbon. The highest biomass yield was achieved with a rotation of 37 years in the uncut stand (211 Mg ha–1). Corresponding values for mean annual increment (MAI) were 3.4–4.3 Mg ha–1 and 5.7 Mg ha–1. This study shows that the length of the rotation for birch in energy wood production should be longer than 21 years. PK and ash fertilization increased the biomass of coppiced 21-year-old birch by 23 Mg ha–1 and 33 Mg ha–1, respectively.
  • Hytönen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kannus, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Aro, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kannus, Finland E-mail:
article id 139, category Research article
Ulf Sikström, Curt Almqvist, Gunnar Jansson. (2010). Growth of Pinus sylvestris after the application of wood ash or P and K fertilizer to a peatland in southern Sweden. Silva Fennica vol. 44 no. 3 article id 139.
Keywords: fertilization; wood ash; nitrogen; ammonium nitrate; forest yield; needle element concentrations; potassium chloride; raw phosphate
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The effects of the application of wood ash and of fertilizer regimes including phosphorus (P) and potassium (K), with and without simultaneous addition of nitrogen (N), were investigated on a stand of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) saplings growing on a drained oligotrophic peatland site in southern Sweden. A randomized block design was used. Tree growth and concentrations of various elements in the needles were measured. The addition of similar doses of P (approx. 40 kg P ha–1) from different sources resulted in similar growth responses, amounting to 1.6–1.9 m3 ha–1 yr–1 of stem wood over the 26-year study. The P source was either wood ash (2500 kg d.w. ha–1) or PK-fertilizer (raw phosphate and potassium chloride). In response to several treatments there were both increased numbers of trees and increased growth of individual trees. The high PK-dose (40 kg P ha–1 and 80 kg K ha–1) appeared to result in a larger growth increase than the low dose (20 kg P ha–1 and 40 kg K ha–1). The N treatment had no additional effect on growth. In the control plots, tree growth was more or less negligible (0.04 m3 ha–1 yr–1). After almost 26 years, concentrations of P and K in the needles of treated plants were still higher than in the untreated control plants. Nevertheless, in spite of the elevated P concentration, P appears to limit the growth of Scots pine. In conclusion, after sufficient drainage of this type of peatland site, it is possible for a forest stand to develop to the pole stage if wood ash or PK-fertilizer is applied.
  • Sikström, Skogforsk (The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden), Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail: (email)
  • Almqvist, Skogforsk (The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden), Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail:
  • Jansson, Skogforsk (The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden), Uppsala Science Park, SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden E-mail:
article id 503, category Research article
Jyrki Hytönen. (2003). Effects of wood, peat and coal ash fertilization on Scots pine foliar nutrient concentrations and growth on afforested former agricultural peat soils. Silva Fennica vol. 37 no. 2 article id 503.
Keywords: wood ash; afforestation; Scots pine; vegetation control; herbicides; coal ash; peat ash; peat soils
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The effects of ash and commercial fertilizers on the foliar nutrient concentrations and stand growth of Scots pine were studied in four field experiments established on former cultivated peat soils. The aims were to compare ash types (wood, peat and coal ash), study the effects of ash treatment (pelletization), compare ash fertilization with commercial fertilizers, and to study the interaction between ash fertilization and weed control. Foliar samples were collected 1–3 years and 7–8 years after fertilization. In the unfertilized plots, the foliar nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations were fairly high, while those of potassium were low in all the experiments. The boron levels were low in three out of the four experiments. Application of either loose or pelletized wood ash, as well as of commercial fertilizers, increased foliar potassium and boron concentrations, and thus successfully remedied the existing nutrient imbalances and deficiencies. Since phosphorus deficiencies are rarely encountered on field afforestation sites, poor-quality wood ash with low phosphorus concentration could be used. Peat ash containing phosphorus, but only small amounts of potassium and boron, was not found to be very suitable for soil amelioration in connection with field afforestation. Coal ash, containing only small amounts of potassium, was a good source of boron for pine even when used in small amounts, and thus it can be used in cases where boron deficiencies alone are encountered. Wood ash significantly increased the height growth of Scots pines in two of the experiments, but peat ash and coal ash had no statistically significant effect. Wood ash increased the number of healthy seedlings. Vegetation control decreased seedling mortality by 24%, increased the growth of pine and decreased the proportion of trees damaged by elk and by deciduous trees.
  • Hytönen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Kannus Research Station, P.O. Box 44, FIN-69101 Kannus, Finland E-mail: (email)
article id 590, category Research article
Anna Saarsalmi, Eino Mälkönen, Sirpa Piirainen. (2001). Effects of wood ash fertilization on forest soil chemical properties. Silva Fennica vol. 35 no. 3 article id 590.
Keywords: Pinus sylvestris; wood ash; Picea abies; nutrients; acidity; neutralization; pH
Abstract | View details | Full text in PDF | Author Info
The effects of wood ash fertilization on soil chemical properties were studied in three young Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) plantations and a Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) plantation with different site fertility in southern Finland. The dose of 3 t ha–1 of loose wood ash was applied to 4 replicate plots (25 x 25 m) at each experiment. Humus layer and mineral soil samples were taken before the treatment and 7 and 16 years after wood ash application. Results showed that neutralization as well as fertilization effects of wood ash on forest soil were of long duration. An ash-induced pH increase of 0.6–1.0 pH units and exchangeable acidity (EA) decrease of 58–83% were detected in the humus layer 16 years after wood ash application. The decrease in acidity was most pronounced on the Calluna site with initially the lowest pH and highest EA. In the mineral soil the increase in pH was observed later than in the humus layer. After 16 years, the mineral soil pH was increased (0.2–0.3 pH units) on the Vaccinium and Myrtillus sites. A corresponding and in most cases a significant increase in the extractable Ca and Mg concentrations was detected in both the humus layer and in the mineral soil. Wood ash significantly increased the effective cation exchange capacity (CECe) and base saturation (BS) but decreased the concentration of exchangeable Al in both soil layers on all the sites. No response of N availability to wood ash application could be found.
  • Saarsalmi, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, P.O. Box 18, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland E-mail: (email)
  • Mälkönen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Vantaa Research Centre, P.O. Box 18, FIN-01301 Vantaa, Finland E-mail:
  • Piirainen, Finnish Forest Research Institute, Joensuu Research Station, P.O. Box 68, FIN-80101 Joensuu, Finland E-mail:

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