Short-term and long-term effects of weed control and fertilization on growth and wood anatomy of a Populus deltoides clone

Silvia Estela Monteoliva, María Silvina Villegas†, Fabio Germán Achinelli


Aims of study: The short- and long-term effects of weed control and fertilization on growth and wood anatomy of 10-y-old Populus deltoides were investigated. Weed control and fertilization usually leads to an increase the growth rate of trees, and consequently, a possible modification in the quality of produced wood.

Area of study: We analyzed trees from an experimental plantation in Buenos Aires, Argentina (34°50’ S Lat; 60°30’ W Long).

Methods: 32 trees from three treatments: mechanical weed control (M), chemical and mechanical weed control (CHM) and fertilized plus chemical and mechanical weed control (CHM-F) were analyzed. Basal area, fibre morphology, cell wall area and vessel size were measured in the growth ring 1, 3 and 10.

Results: differences on wood anatomy among treatments were mainly observed at the third year (short-term effect). Long-term negative effects were not observed. Fertilized trees had greater proportion and quality of wood closer to pith.

Research highlights: fibre and vessel differences seen in CHM and CHM-F compared to controls in year 3 could be interpreted as evidence of maturation in cambial development (thicker, longer and wider fibres and greater vessels). The CHM-F treatment had a greater proportion of wood that showed characteristics of more mature wood.

Key words: silvicultural treatment; wood quality; fibre properties; vessels; poplar; cambial maturity.

Full Text:




Achinelli FG, 2007. Bases para el desarrollo de un sistema integrado de control de malezas en el establecimiento de plantaciones de Populus spp. del centro-norte de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina. MSci. Thesis.

Bilodeau-Gauthier S, Paré D, Messier C, Belanger N, 2011. Juvenile growth of hybrid poplars on acidic boreal soil determined by environmental effects of soil preparation, vegetation control and fertilization. Forest Ecol Manag 26, 620-629.

DeBell JD, Gartner BL, DeBell DS, 1998. Fiber length in young hybrid Populus stems grown at extremely different rates. Can. J. For. Res. 28, 603-608.

Efhami Sisi D, Karimi AN, Pouthamasi K, Taghiyari HR, 2012. The effects of agroforestry practices on fiber attributes in Populus nigra var.betulifolia. Trees 26, 435-441.

Franklin GL, 1945. Preparation of thin sections of synthetic resins and wood-resin composites, and a new macerating method for wood. Nature 155 (3924), 51.

Little KM, Johannes van Staden G, Clarke PY, 2003. The relationship between vegetation management and the wood and pulping properties of a Eucalyptus hybrid clone. Ann. For. Sci. 60, 673-680.

Luo ZB, Langenfeld-Heyser R, Calfapietra C, Polle A, 2005. Influence of free air CO2 enrichment (EUROFACE) and nitrogen fertilization on the anatomy of juvenile wood of three poplar species after coppicing. Trees 19, 109-118.

Matyás C, Peszlen I, 1997. Effect of age on selected wood quality traits of poplar clones. Silvae Genet 46, 64-72.

Pitre FE, Cooke JEK, Mackay JJ, 2007. Short-term effects of nitrogen availability on wood formation and fibre properties in hybrid poplar. Trees 21, 249-259.

DOI: 10.5424/fs/2015241-05077