The Effects of Initial Size on Subsequent Performance in Container Grown Engelmann Spruce Seedlings
One-thousand greenhouse grown containerized Engelmann spruce seedlings were planted on two .4 ha patchcuts on the Utah State University Experimental Forest. Two plots containing 250 trees each were established in each patchcut. One of the plots was located near the patchcut edge, the other was placed at the center of the patchcut.
As a group the larger seedlings out performed the smaller ones. Significant differences did not exist between any of the plots. However, the smaller seedlings did show a lower survival percentage than the larger seedlings. A greater increase in growth was observed in the larger seedlings. The large planting stock also showed more new_ root growth on a greater number of growing tips. This may account for the lower pre-dawn moisture stress measured in the larger seedlings.
Under the conditions of this experiment, larger container grown Engelmann spruce seedings out performed their smaller counterparts. The larger seedlings showed a greater percentage survival and a greater increase in height growth. This may be due to more root growth and lower moisture stress. In addition, no differences in performance were measured between the plots at the center of the patchcuts and those on the edge. This preliminary study would seem to indicate patchcuts up to .4 ha in size can be used to harvest Engelmann spruce in the Intermountain Area.
Hines, Franklin D. (1983). The effects of initial size on subsequent performance in container grown Engelmann spruce seedlings. MS. 32p.