Assessing Christmas Tree Planting Procedures
Ricky M. Bates, James C. Sellmer and David A. Despot
Christmas tree growers in the Northeast United States utilize a range of methods for planting conifers, including motorized augers, mechanical planters, and hand planting with shovels or planting bars. Varying levels of weed control are employed prior to planting and supplemental irrigation is rarely used. Sub-optimal site topography and soil characteristics often increase the stress levels experienced by the stock during this critical establishment period. Tree mortality can be high under these conditions, particularly during drought years. Growers are increasingly adopting the use of commercial root treatments prior to planting in an effort to improve tree survival and growth. The objectives of this project were to (1) assess the impact of planting method on tree survival and growth, and (2) assess the impact of several commercial root treatments on tree survival and growth.
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