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    Author(s): William Headlee; Richard Hall
    Date: 2015
    Source: Journal of Plant Nutrition. 38: 647-662.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (305.0 KB)


    Biomass ash is an important and potentially useful by-product of the bioenergy industry. As a "proof of concept" for using biomass fly ash as a foliar fertilizer, we tested (i) whether the nutrients in the ash were absorbed by hybrid aspen trees, (ii) whether the ash affected tree growth, and (iii) whether the ash was compatible with nitrogen foliar fertilizer. Four foliar treatments (water [control], ash suspended in water, nitrogen fertilizer solution, and ash suspended in nitrogen fertilizer solution) were evaluated. Several nutrients in the fly ash were absorbed by hybrid aspen both in the greenhouse and in the field; however, this absorption did not significantly affect tree growth in either setting. Nitrogen fertilization was associated with significantly higher tree growth in the greenhouse; inclusion of the fly ash with the nitrogen fertilizer solution did not significantly alter this growth response.

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    Headlee, William L.; Hall, Richard B. 2015. Biomass fly ash as foliar fertilizer for hybrid aspen trees: nutrient uptake, growth response, and compatibility with nitrogen fertilizer. Journal of Plant Nutrition. 38: 647-662.


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    bioenergy, 'Crandon', ethanol, poplars, short-rotation woody crops

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