Role of planting stock size and fertilizing in initial growth performance of rowan (Sorbus aucuparia L.) reforestation in a mountain frost hollow

Ivan Kuneš, Martin Baláš, Daniel Zahradník, Olga Nováková, Josef Gallo, Jarmila Nárovcová, Miles Louis Drury


The aim of study: (1) to compare the survival rate, growth performance and nutrition of large and common-sized planting stock of rowan (Sorbus aucuparia L.) on a frost-exposed site and (2) to assess whether fertilizing had any effect on the plantations.

Area of study: The Jizera Mts., an area heavily disturbed by air pollution situated on the Czech-Polish border close to Germany

Materials and methods: Two types of planting stock were tested in a mountain frost hollow on an acidic mountain humic podsol: (a) the bare-rooted saplings 131–140 cm tall and (b) common-sized containerized transplants 26–35 cm. One half of the saplings and common-sized transplants were left untreated and the other half were fertilized with a low dose (30 g per tree) of a slow release fertilizer based on methylene urea and potassium magnesium phosphate. Growth performance and nutrition of plantations were investigated.

Main results: Due to serious deformations and stem breakages inflicted by snow and frost, the prospects of common-sized transplants seem much worse than those of saplings. The height growth of saplings was significantly more rapid than that of common-sized transplants. As for growth, neither the saplings nor common-sized transplants did significantly respond to fertilizing. The effects of fertilizing on nutrition of rowans were unconvincing. The extreme temperature events during growth seasons and snow deformations in winters might be the decisive factors influencing growth performance of rowans under referred conditions.

Research highlights: On the frost-exposed sites, the height of taller saplings might partly compensate for a missing shelter of forest stand since the terminal leaders are above ground-frost zone.

Key words: mountain ash; sapling; common-sized transplants; nutritional status; temperature.

Abbreviations: CS – Control Saplings; CT – Control Transplants; FS – Fertilized Saplings; FT – Fertilized Transplants

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DOI: 10.5424/fs/2014232-04869