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Home Publications Tree Planters' Notes Tree Planters' Notes Volume 50, Number 1 (2003) Effect of Soil Temperature on Rooting and Early Establishment of Balsam Poplar Cuttings

Effect of Soil Temperature on Rooting and Early Establishment of Balsam Poplar Cuttings

Low soil temperatures are the primary limiting factor when using non rooted balsam poplar (Populus balsamifera L.) stem cuttings for reforestation of highly productive, nutrient rich, cold, wet boreal sites that have severe grass competition problems. This study investigated the effect of soil temperature on the establishment and early growth of dormant balsam poplar hardwood stem cuttings. During a 6-wk experimental period, nonrooted cuttings were subjected to 3 soil temperatures-5, 15, and 25 °C (41, 59, and 77 °F). The soil temperatures were maintained by submerging water-tight pots into temperature controlled water baths. Cuttings exposed to a soil temperature of 5 °C did not produce any roots by the end of the 6-wk experiment. At 5 °C, cuttings had 80% survival and less top growth compared to cuttings grown at soil temperatures of 15 and 25 °C. At 15 and 25 °C, survival was 100%, and all cuttings produced roots. The cuttings grown at 25 °C had the highest biomass of aboveground and belowground plant components. The strong sensitivity of root development in dormant stem cuttings of balsam poplar to low soil temperatures will have a large impact on the use o f nonrooted cuttings for reforestation on cool, wet sites. Tree Planters' Notes 50(1): 34-37; 2003.

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Author(s): Simon M. Landhausser

Publication: Tree Planters' Notes - Volume 50, Number 1 (2003)

Volume: 50

Number: 1