Performance of Trees, Shrubs, and Forbs Seeded Directly in the Fall on Minespoil and Silt Loam Soil1
- James E. Brown,
- Joe B. Maddox and
- Walter E. Splittstoesser2
This study was designed to find tree, shrub, and forb species that could be collected in the summer and early fall and be sown together sufficiently late in November to prevent fall germination, but early enough that some seeds could be properly stratified by winter conditions for germination the following spring. Germination and growth of tree, shrub, and forb species in association with grasses as ground cover were tested on a silt loam soil (pH 6.5) and a minespoil (mixed gray shale, pH 6.1) under microplot conditions. Seed germination was recorded 6 months after sowing, and trees and shrubs were then thinned to six per microplot to reduce plant competition. After two full growing seasons, plant heights and root depths were measured. Germination percentages of trees and shrubs were not significantly different between the minespoil and the silt loam soil. Generally, plant heights were shorter for plants grown on the minespoil, with a concomitant reduction in root depth. Trees and shrubs that performed well (a minimum of 15% germination, 10 cm plant height, and 20 cm root depth) on the minespoil under these conditions included Amorpha fruticosa (Indigo bush), Elaeagnus umbellata (Autumn olive), Malus sieboldi (Toringo crabapple), Prunus serotina (Black cherry), and Robinia pseucoacacia (Black locust). There was no significant difference in germination of forb seeds between the minespoli and the silt loam soil. Forbs that germinated, survived and grew well on the minespoil. Forbs with at least 10% germination and a 60% survival rate were Cassia fasciculata (partridge pea), Chenopodium album (lambsquarter), Desmodium canadense (beggerlice), Erechtites hieracifolia (fireweed), Eupatorium serotinum (snake root), Phytolacca americana (pokeweed), Polygonum pensylvanicum (smartweed), and Rumex crispus (red sorrel).Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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