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Fertilization at Planting via Tea Bags and Broadcast Burning on Western Redcedar and Interior Spruce - Thunder River: second growing season
Kiiskila, Steven
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Frozen stored western redcedar and interior spruce spring plant PSB 412A StyroblockTM container seedlings were planted May 21, 2003 near Blue River British Columbia, in the very wet cool Interior Cedar ? Hemlock biogeoclimatic subzone (ICHvk1). Seedlings were planted into the cutblock 'as is', or after a broadcast burn site preparation treatment. On both of the planting areas, seedlings were planted as controls, or fertilized by placing a package of slow release fertilizer (tea bag) in the soil near the seedling at planting. Fertilization at the time of planting significantly increased the diameter of the spruce, but not the cedar. It also appears that fertilization had a positive effect on spruce stem diameter on both PAI and burn treatments. In contrast, diameter of the control and fertilized cedar were almost identical on the burnt ground. Site preparation via broadcast burning increased diameter growth of the cedar by 19%, but the spruce growth was not statistically significantly different between the PAI and burn treatments. Fertilization of the spruce via tea bags may have been responsible for the 6% greater mortality of the spruce on the burnt ground, although minor browsing was observed. However, survival of the fertilized spruce in the PAI ground was actually higher than that of the controls. Survival of the control and fertilized cedar was similar on the burn treatment, but much lower for the fertilized trees on the PAI ground. In comparing tea bag fertilization to the burn site preparation, it appears that fertilization of both Cw and Sx on the PAI ground resulted in growth similar to that of non-fertilized trees on the burnt ground. At the end of the second growing season, 90% or more of all surviving trees within each species treatment combination were rated as free or only threatened by vegetation, except for the fertilized spruce on the burn. Therefore, as increased diameter growth generally increases sturdiness and assists trees in surviving vegetation and snow press, the current competition pressure on this site may be insufficient to result in survival and vigour differences between trees of different stem diameter. This may partially explain why even though fertilization and burning site preparation generally increased growth, up until now it has not had much affect on the trees ability to compete with the vegetation. As only second year results have been reported to date, it is too early to reach conclusions regarding FAP and broadcast burning on this site. This trial is planned to be measured again after three and five growing seasons.
Report Number
GSFP FAP Trial Lemieux Creek
GSFP FAP Trial Pyramid Creek
GSFP FAP Trial Thunder River

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