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This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 22 No. 2, p. 174-177
    Received: July 13, 1957
    Accepted: Oct 30, 1957

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Growth Variations in a Red Pine Plantation Influenced by a Deep-Lying Fine Soil Layer1

  1. Donald P. White and
  2. Robert S. Wood2



Investigation of site factors responsible for a highly significant growth difference between two contiguous parts of a red pine plantation showed that important effects were related to a deep-lying fine soil layer. The growth difference between two adjacent parts of this 25-year-old stand established on an old field (Hinckley coarse sand) has been attributed to differences in land use. Investigation of chemical and physical soil properties in the solum and parent material above 6 feet showed no important differences. Exchangeable soil potassium in both areas was exceptionally low in the solum under both stands. However, the height of the good portion was over 60% greater than the poor part.

Growth differences, chemical and physical soil profile properties, soil moisture depletion, and foliar potassium were measured during the period October 1954 to October 1956. Differences in growth were found to be closely related to a deep-lying silty fine sand layer situated at varying depths under the two stands. This layer provided an ample supply of water and additional available potassium to the good stand but not to the poor.

It was concluded that chronic drought and potassium deficiency are both limiting in this stand. When the fine soil layer was not deeper than 6 feet, the tree roots absorbed adequate amounts of potassium and considerably more soil water than when the fine layer occurred deeper than 6 feet.

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