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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Conifer Establishment on Coal Spoils as Influenced by Certain Site Factors and Organic Additions at Planting Time1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 24 No. 4, p. 316-318
    Received: Nov 30, 1959
    Accepted: Jan 4, 1960

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  1. Gerald L. Lowry2



Eight conifer species were planted on Ohio spoil banks at five locations of widely different site characteristics. At any one location five tree species and three root mulch treatments were tried. Mulch treatments included (a) no treatment, (b) steam-sterilized sawdust mulch, and (c) unsteamed sawdust mulch. One pint of mulch was placed in the tree root zone at planting time.

Results of 2-year measurements indicated significant survival differences between tree species on all areas where average survival was greater than 10%. On acid spoils pitch pine appeared best when considering both survival and total height. Jack pine, white pine, and ponderosa pine were intermediate white shortleaf pine was consistently poor. On mildly acid clay spoils northern white cedar was best while eastern red cedar, ponderosa pine, and jack pine were intermediate.

Significant differences due to mulch treatments were noted, especially on very strongly acid sandy spoils where raw mulch showed a 90% increase in survival over the controls. Steamed mulch resulted in some increase in survival on sandy areas, but a decrease in survival when used on areas high in silt and clay. No difference in seedling height resulted from these treatments.

Certain site and soil factors were studied to determine their effect on seedling survival. Of the factors studied only moisture equivalent, sand content and reaction were significant. A prediction equation for survival is given.

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