Extending the Planting Period of Container Grown Oriental Spruce (Picea orientalis L. Link.) Seedlings into Summer
AbstractThis study was carried out to determine the effects of different planting time from June to October on survival, height growth and root collar diameter of the Picea orientalis L. Link. seedlings and to investigate how to extend the planting period in Artvin, Turkey. In general, autumn and spring plantings are the most preferable methods for the oriental spruce reforestations. The nursery where the oriental spruce seedlings were propagated is near the sea level while afforestation areas are between 1200 m and 1800 m altitudes, and there is not a cold storage possibility in the nursery to store seedlings until planting time. When the seedlings have bud burst in the nursery, there is snow on the reforestation sites in the spring season, and while the seedlings are growing actively in the nursery it can snow early on the plantation areas, causing planting difficulties. Thus, to overcome this issue, extending the planting period of the oriental spruce can be a solution in the region. To evaluate the possibilities to extend the planting period, the experiment was established using actively growing and dormant seedlings in 2007. The container seedlings were planted regularly at the end of June (cold stored and actively growing seedlings), July (actively growing), August (actively growing) and October (dormant). The statistical approach was a randomized complete block design with three replications and 30 seedlings were planted for each replication. The height growth, root collar diameter and survival rate of the seedlings were defined during four growing seasons. The survival of actively growing seedlings planted at the end of July (84.4%) and August (91.1%) did not differ planting date from the end of October (92.2%) after the fourth growing period, in 2010. The seedlings which were planted at the end of June both cold stored (66.7%) and actively growing (70.0%) had the lowest survival rates. The highest seedling height (39.4 cm) was obtained from the seedlings planted at the end of August. The results showed that with actively growing seedlings, the planting period can be extended from late July to late August without increasing mortality.
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