Performance of slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) containerized rooted cuttings and bare-root seedlings established on five planting dates in the flatlands of western Louisiana
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The forest product industry is keenly interested in extending the normal planting season, as well as in the comparative field performance of standard nursery bare-root seedlings and containerized rooted cuttings. The effect of seasonal planting dates on survival, above and belowground biomass allocation, water relations, gas exchange attributes and foliar carbon isotope composition (δ13C) of two stock types of slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) were examined. Slash pine bare-root seedlings (BRS) and containerized rooted cuttings (CRC) were hand planted in September, November, January, March and April in three consecutive planting seasons (2000-2001, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003) on three sites with silt loam topsoils in southwestern Louisiana. First-year mean survival of CRC across all planting dates and sites was consistently high at 96 to 98%, whereas BRS survival was significantly (P < 0.0001) lower at 59 to 81% and highly variable among study sites and dates through three planting seasons. Generally, there was a negative relationship between soil moisture at the time of planting and first-year survival of BRS planted September through March in 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 planting seasons, whereas the opposite was observed only for BRS planted in April 2002 and 2003. Survival of CRC was affected very little by the variation in soil moisture. Containerized rooted cuttings had higher early above and belowground biomass, and height and diameter than did BRS. However, three years after planting the size differences between stock types disappeared or became negligible. Early size differences among trees planted September through March also decreased after three years, although September trees were tallest. Growth of the April-planted trees was poor compared to trees planted in other months. Late-planted April trees had higher δ13C values, and higher water-use efficiency in the first growing season compared to earlier planted trees. Differences in δ13C values among the planting dates disappeared in the second growing season. Net photosynthesis rates did not differ considerably between stock types or among planting dates in the second and third growing seasons. This study indicates that it is possible to extend the planting season to as early as September and as late as March by using CRC.
containerized rooted cuttings
carbon isotope discrimination
above and belowground biomass allocation
Akgul, Alper (2003). Performance of slash pine (Pinus elliottii Engelm.) containerized rooted cuttings and bare-root seedlings established on five planting dates in the flatlands of western Louisiana. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from