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Home Publications National Nursery Proceedings 2004 Plant Nutrient Testing and Analysis in Forest and Conservation Nurseries

Plant Nutrient Testing and Analysis in Forest and Conservation Nurseries

Supplying mineral nutrients at the proper rate and in the proper balance has a major effect on seedling growth rate but, more importantly, on seedling quality. In addition, mounting concerns about fertilizer pollution are increasing awareness of the benefits of precision fertilization. Because they reflect actual mineral nutrient uptake, plant tissue tests are the best way to monitor a fertilization program. Analytical laboratories are able to accurately and precisely measure the levels of all 13 mineral nutrients in a small sample of plant tissue, and nursery managers can obtain results in as little as a week. While tentative guidelines for analyzing mineral nutrient levels exist, they are for general classes such as “conifer seedlings” and are of limited usefulness for precision monitoring of fertilizer programs. Most published test results are for commercial tree species, and almost nothing is known about other native plant species. Government nurseries can provide a real service by sharing their test results with other nurseries, and nursery cooperatives can serve as clearing houses for plant nutrient test results.

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

Publication: National Nursery Proceedings - 2004

Event: Western Forest and Conservation Nursery Association Meeting
2004 - Medford, OR