Cold hardiness testing of container seedlings
Successful greenhouse production of containerized forest tree seedlings requires high rates of transplant survival. Low temperature is one of the environmental stresses that the seedling must be able to tolerate, so cold acclimation is an important aspect of the production cycle. Unfortunately, there are currently no convenient methods for determining when a particular lot of seedlings has attained the level of hardiness that will allow survival. The rate and extent of hardening vary between species and probably between some seed sources of the same species; certain production variables also influence the hardening process. Many nursery management decisions are made more difficult by this uncertain status of tree seedlings. Researchers and nurserymen need a rapid, convenient means of accurately measuring the cold hardiness of nursery-grown tree seedlings. We are interested in the possibility that differential thermal analysis (DTA) may provide a convenient, rapid estimate of tree seedling cold hardiness and dormancy. DTA is a method of measuring patterns of freezing in plant tissue. To understand its potential value as a measure of hardiness, it is necessary to briefly review relevant mechanisms of cold resistance.
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Publication: National Nursery Proceedings - 1981
Proceedings of the 1981 Intermountain Nurserymen's Association meeting
1981 - Edmonton, Alberta