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Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes Volume 20, Number 3 (1969) Plastic Strip Mulch Enhances Response of Slash Pine to Fertilizations on Sandhills Site

Plastic Strip Mulch Enhances Response of Slash Pine to Fertilizations on Sandhills Site

Pines are planted extensively on the droughty, infertile soils of the "Sandhills" provinces of the Southeastern Coastal Plain (3, 9), sometimes with disappointing results (8). Field fertilization experiments to increase the productivity of these plantings have commonly shown statistically significant but rather small growth responses to P or to NP fertilization (3, 7). Soil moisture deficits apparently limit response to fertilizers under field conditions on these sites since greenhouse trials, using the same soils and tree species but providing adequate moisture, have shown several-fold increases in dry matter production with appropriate fertilization (3). These greater responses to NP fertilization in the greenhouse are probably also influenced by more effective fertilizer placement (1, 4), the elimination of leaching of fertilizer constituents, especially N (2), and the absence of weed competition for nutrients, light, and moisture. Since a waterproof, lightproof mulch might alleviate the problems of vegetative competition and nutrient leaching associated with fertilization of young pine plantations on these sites, Paul Peperzak installed an experiment at the TVA forest fertilization research area in Citrus County, Fla., in the winter of 1963-64 to study the effects of black polyethylene mulches used in combination with fertilizer. This paper reports the results of this experiment.

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Author(s): George W. Bengtson

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volume 20, Number 3 (1969)

Volume: 20

Number: 3