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Effect of fertilizer and weed control on the early growth of pinus radiata in southern australia



Effect of fertilizer and weed control on the early growth of pinus radiata in southern australia



Australian Forest Research 10(2): 141-153



Two experiments were carried out to test the effect of the 12 nutrients, N, Mg, Co, Mo, K, Mn, Cu, B, Fe, Zn, Ni and V, on the early growth of P. radiata in southern Australia. A significant growth response to N (ammonium sulfate) was obtained on a first-rotation site on Kilbride sand near Killara, Victoria. Significant growth responses to K, Cu (in the 1st 2 yr) and Co (5th year) were obtained on a 2nd-rotation site on Nangwarry sand near Tarpeena, S.A., whilst the application of N (ammonium sulfate) increased the loss of trees in the year of planting probably because of an induced moisture stress. Application of B and Fe was deleterious in both experiments. A 3rd experiment, consisting of a weedicide treatment combined with 6 nutrients, N, Cu, Co, Zn, B and Fe, was conducted on another 2nd-rotation site growing on Nangwarry sand also near Tarpeena. Large growth responses were obtained with the application of either a strip or full-cover weedicide treatment. No response was obtained to any of the 6 nutrients except for a transient response to N in the 2nd year after planting. The deleterious effect of B and Fe observed in the earlier experiments was not present but the rate of application of B had been halved. A basal dressing of 113 g per tree of superphosphate and 226 g per tree of ground rock phosphate was applied in each experiment to ensure adequate supplies of P. Under these conditions, it appears that the application of N is justified on 1st-rotation sites growing on Kilbride sand but is not justified on 2nd-rotation sites with poor weed control on Nangwarry sand. Some evidence suggested that the response to N on 2nd-rotation sites depended on adequate rain falling in the year of planting and the degree of weed control practiced. Further work is required to determine the interrelationships between the method of application of N, the amount of rain falling in the year of planting and the effect of weed control on the response to N fertilizer on deep white sands.

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