RNGR.net is sponsored by the USDA Forest Service and Southern Regional Extension Forestry and is a colloborative effort between these two agencies.

U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA Forest Service Southern Regional Extension Forestry Southern Regional Extension Forestry

Late-Season Fertilization of Nursery Stock

Regulating seedling nutrient content through fertilization is a key component of nursery culture for both bareroot and container stock. Typically, fertilizers are applied early in the growing season to fuel active shoot growth. Then, fertilization (especially nitrogen) is reduced or stopped to induce budset and promote development of cold hardiness, usually during July through September depending on species, seed source, and stocktype specifications. However, a significant amount of root and stem growth can still occur late in the growing season as long as temperatures remain within favorable ranges. This increase in biomass late in the growing season can lead to nutrient dilution within the plant unless more nutrients are supplied through fertilization. If nutrient concentrations drop below the adequate range, there may be inadequate reserves for vigorous growth following outplanting. However, many growers are concerned about the traditional belief that fertilizing too late in the season will cause budbreak, stimulate additional shoot growth, or delay or reduce cold hardiness.

Download this file:

PDF document Download this file — PDF document, 190Kb


Author(s): Diane L. Haase, Thomas D. Landis

Publication: Forest Nursery Notes - 2010 Winter