Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): D. Paul Jackson; R. Kasten DumroeseJames P. Barnett
    Date: 2012
    Source: Forest Ecology and Management. 265: 1-12.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.1 MB)


    Container longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) seedlings often survive and grow better after outplanting than bareroot seedlings. Because of this, most longleaf pine are now produced in containers. Little is known about nursery fertilization effects on the quality of container longleaf pine seedlings and how that influences outplanting performance. We compared various fertilization rates (0.5, 1, 2, 3, or 4 mg nitrogen (N) per week for 20 weeks) for two crops (2004 and 2005) of container longleaf pine, grown inside a fullycontrolled greenhouse (2004 and 2005) or in an outdoor compound (2005). Seedlings grew larger in the nursery with increasing amounts of N. After 20 weeks of fertilizer treatment, seedlings received two additional fertigations at the same treatment rate to promote hardening, N concentrations declined sharply, and seedlings shifted biomass production toward roots. Overall, shoots showed more plasticity to N rate than did roots. Survival of either crop after outplanting was unaffected by nursery N rate. For both crops, no seedlings emerged from the grass stage during the first year after outplanting, and during the second year, more seedlings exited the grass stage and were taller as N rate increased up to 3 mg per week. By the third field season, nearly all seedlings in the 2004 crop had exited the grass stage, whereas 44% of 2005 crop grown at 1 mg N had yet to initiate height growth, either because of differences in seed source between the two crop years or because of droughty conditions. Our data suggests that an application rate of about 3 mg N per week for 20 weeks plus two additional applications during hardening yields satisfactory nursery growth as well as field response for the container type we used. The potential for improving field performance by using more robust fall fertilization during nursery production should be investigated.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Jackson, D. Paul; Dumroese, R. Kasten; Barnett, James P. 2012. Nursery response of container Pinus palustris seedlings to nitrogen supply and subsequent effects on outplanting performance. Forest Ecology and Management. 265: 1-12.


    Google Scholar


    fertilization, nitrogen, seedling quality, longleaf pine, grass stage, container seedling

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page