Fertilization and vertical mulching improved height growth of yellow-poplars planted on eroded soils. A growing demand for hardwood timber accompanied by a diminishing land base has prompted land managers to consider planting hardwoods on marginal sites such as the eroded soils in the Silty Uplands of Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Many of these areas were well suited for pine but lack the moisture and nutrients necessary for fast-growing hardwoods. If soil moisture and nutrient content were improved, hardwood management would be feasible on these sites. In two field experiments to improve moisture and nutrient content of eroded Memphis soils, vertical mulching with sawdust plus fertilizer improved height growth by 40 percent on severely eroded soils and by 2.5 percent on moderately eroded ones. Total height growth during the 5-year study period averaged 12.2 and 14.4 feet for treated trees on severely and moderately eroded sites, respectively, compared to 8.5 and 11.5 feet for untreated controls. Greatest response occurred during the second through fourth years after application. Broadcast fertilization followed by disking also improved height growth, but the response lasted only 2 years. Total height growth of trees ranged from 11.7 feet for controls to 13.3 feet for the fertilizer treatment.
Baker, J.B.; Blackmon, B.G. 1976. Growth of Planted Yellow-Poplar After Vertical Mulching and Fertilization on Eroded Soils. Res. Note SO-215. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 5 p.