Category: Ecological Research
Title: Frozen-stored Conifer Container Stock can be Outplanted Without Thawing
Author: Kooistra, C.M., * Bakker, J.D.
Subject: Reforestation, Storage, Thawing, Chlorophyll
Abstract: In this study, we outplanted frozen-stored container stock in operational settings and found minimal effects of thawing regime on seedling performance over 2 y. We monitored the performance of 1+0 container stock of 3 coniferous species (lodgepole pine [Pinus contotta var. latifolia (Pinaceae)], western larch [Larix occidentalis (Pinaceae)], and interior spruce [Picea glauco and P. engelmannii hybrid complex (Pinaceae)]) planted with frozen or thawed root plugs at 2 sites. Differences in chlorophyllfluorescence between frozen and thawed seedlings disappeared within 3 d of outplanting, and differences in budburst phenology disappeared within 6 wk of outplanting. Frozen seedlings had slightly lower diameter and biomass than thawed seedlings but did not differ in condition, height, or sturdiness ratio over 2 growing seasons. Interspecific and environmental differences accounted for much more of the variation in measured attributes than did plug temperature treatment. Eliminating the thaw stage from the seedling production process can yield significant operational advantages.
Source: Native Plants Journal
Identifier: Fall 2005: 267-278