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Impact of planting container type on growth and survival of three hybrid poplar clones in central Alberta, Canada

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We compared growth performance and survival of three hybrid poplar clones (Walker, Northwest and Okanese) planted as cuttings into five different Styroblock® containers (412A, 415D, 512A, 515A, 615A) with increasing cavity volume and decreasing cavity density under commercial growing conditions at two nurseries in central Alberta, Canada. After 175 days of growth, our results showed considerable variation in growth traits among container types while survival was generally high with an overall average of 89 %. Initial cutting diameter appeared to be an important predictor of survival and our results showed that a cutting diameter of ≥7.5 mm increased survival rates of the tested hybrid poplar planting stock. Furthermore, containers with larger cavity volume and lower cavity density had a strong positive influence on growth and survival across nurseries (R2 = 0.96). Growth trait interactions with container type showed that container 512A (cavity volume: 220 ml; cavity depth: 12 cm) resulted in more diameter growth across clones. Cavities with a depth of 15 cm (415D, 515A, 615A) resulted in higher root:shoot ratios than cavities with a depth of only 12 cm (412A, 512A), irrespective of cavity volume or cavity density. Lastly, our study identified Okanese as a well-rounded clone with great growth potential both above and below ground. From an operational standpoint, we found container types 512A and 515A the most cost-effective choices under the assumption that nursery space and budgets are limiting factors.
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Impact of planting container type on growth and survival
of three hybrid poplar clones in central Alberta, Canada
Barb R. Thomas
1
Stefan G. Schreiber
1
David P. Kamelchuk
1,2,3
Received: 7 December 2015 / Accepted: 8 July 2016 / Published online: 15 July 2016
ÓSpringer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016
Abstract We compared growth performance and survival of three hybrid poplar clones
(Walker, Northwest and Okanese) planted as cuttings into five different Styroblock
Ò
containers (412A, 415D, 512A, 515A, 615A) with increasing cavity volume and
decreasing cavity density under commercial growing conditions at two nurseries in central
Alberta, Canada. After 175 days of growth, our results showed considerable variation in
growth traits among container types while survival was generally high with an overall
average of 89 %. Initial cutting diameter appeared to be an important predictor of survival
and our results showed that a cutting diameter of C7.5 mm increased survival rates of the
tested hybrid poplar planting stock. Furthermore, containers with larger cavity volume and
lower cavity density had a strong positive influence on growth and survival across nurseries
(R
2
=0.96). Growth trait interactions with container type showed that container 512A
(cavity volume: 220 ml; cavity depth: 12 cm) resulted in more diameter growth across
clones. Cavities with a depth of 15 cm (415D, 515A, 615A) resulted in higher root:shoot
ratios than cavities with a depth of only 12 cm (412A, 512A), irrespective of cavity volume
or cavity density. Lastly, our study identified Okanese as a well-rounded clone with great
growth potential both above and below ground. From an operational standpoint, we found
container types 512A and 515A the most cost-effective choices under the assumption that
nursery space and budgets are limiting factors.
Barb R. Thomas and Stefan G. Schreiber have contributed equally to the study.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11056-016-9546-4)
contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
&Barb R. Thomas
bthomas@ualberta.ca
1
University of Alberta, 442 Earth Sciences Building, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E3, Canada
2
Little Creek Agroforestry, Box 32, Ellscott, AB T0A 1B0, Canada
3
Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., PO Box 8000, Boyle, AB T0A 0M0, Canada
123
New Forests (2016) 47:815–827
DOI 10.1007/s11056-016-9546-4
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
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ing damage ranged from odor. to general visual appearance. Attributes of seedling quality are categorized as either to cutting buds. to scraping bark to detect dead cambium. performance attributes (RGP. frost hardiness. stress resistance) One nursery reported using frost hardiness as an indicator of or material attributes (bud dormancy. water relations. nutrition. when to begin fall lifting. but none reported using it as an morphology). Performance attributes are assessed by placing indicator of seedling quality before shipping stock to customers. samples of seedlings into specified controlled environments and evaluating their responses. Although some effective short­ 23.4.3 Stress resistance cut procedures are being developed. performance tests tend Only three nurseries measure stress resistance. They use to be time consuming; however, they produce results on whole­ the services of Oregon State University and the test methods plant responses which are often closely correlated with field described in 23.2.3. One nursery reported that results of stress performance. Material attributes. on the other hand. reflect tests did not agree well with results of RGP tests and that RGP only individual aspects of seedling makeup and are often correlated better with seedling survival in the field. Most stress poorly correlated with performance. tests are conducted for reforestation personnel rather than for Bud dormancy status seems to be correlated. at least nurseries.
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