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Journal of Environmental Horticulture






Horticultural Research Institute

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Three methods to improve first-year establishment of bare-root white oak on compacted minesoil during reclamation were investigated. We applied tree-shelter, hydrophilic-polymer, and nitrogen-fertilization treatments to seedlings planted on deep- and untilled soil. Predawn and midday water potential, and midday stomatal conductance (gs) were measured in early, mid, and late season. Leaf area, trunk diameter growth, and survival were measured in early fall. Single-row deep tillage loosened the soil to 0.7 m (2.3 ft), but outward from the midrow the effect dissipated rapidly. Water stress increased in all treatments during an extended mid-summer dry period. deep tillage resulted in higher initial gs, but differences in water stress between tillage treatments were not sustained during the dry period. tress in shelters, however were able to delay water stress longer than those in the other handling treatments. while there were no differences in trunk diameter growth among all treatments, tress on deep-tilled soil had greater leaf area and survival than those on untilled soil. Among handling treatments, only tress in shelters had leaf area and survival significantly greater than the control. Both deep tillage and shelters contributed to improved surivival, and the greatest effect occured with shelters on deep-tilled soil.