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Home Publications National Nursery Proceedings 2001 Influence of Site Preparation and Stock Size on the Establishment of Arizona Cypress Plantings in the Middle Rio Grande Region

Influence of Site Preparation and Stock Size on the Establishment of Arizona Cypress Plantings in the Middle Rio Grande Region

Establishment of tree plantings in arid and semi-arid regions where available irrigation water is limited is often costly and problematic. This study examined the effects of site preparation, specifically V-ditching and use of synthetic weed barrier alone and in combination, and stock size based on container volume on early, 1- and 6month, mid, 12- and 15-month, and late, 72-month, survival and height growth of fall planted, Arizona cypress (Cupressus ari.Zonica) seedlings planted in Los Lunas, New Mexico. The study was installed at the New Mexico State University Los Lunas Experiment Station in October of 1994. Seedlings were planted by hand using an auger. Immediately following planting the study site was irrigated with 7.5 centimeters of irrigation. Seedlings received no further supplemental irrigation. The effects of both site preparation and stock size became discernable only after 12 months. In general, survival was improved with site preparation with the 12and 15-month survival averaging 80% for the V-ditch alone and in combination with weed barrier, compared to 55% for the control group. After 15 months, the two larger stock sizes evaluated, 262 ml and 656 ml container volumes, had survival averaging 80% compared to the two smaller container sizes, 115 ml and 164 ml whose survival was averaging 64%. After 72 months, the 262 ml container size had the greatest survival at 62% across the four site preparation treatments. The combination of the weed barrier/V ditch site preparation treatment and the 262 ml stock size yielded the greatest survival after 72 months, 86%. After 72 months, there was little difference in survival between site preparation treatments. The use of weed barrier as a site preparation treatment consistently improved height growth from the 12-month measurement period until the 72-month measurement period. The 262 ml container size consistently had the greatest height growth from the 15-month measurement period through the 72-month measurement period. These results indicate it is possible to establish trees in semi-arid environments when using appropriately sized stock in conjunction with appropriately prepared sites.

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Author(s): Mark Loveall, Richard Maiers, John T. Harrington

Publication: National Nursery Proceedings - 2001

Event: Western Forest and Conservation Nursery Association Conference
2001 - Durango, CO