Toward a single nursery protocol for oak seedlings
After a soil fertility baseline had been determined for the Georgia Forestry Commission's (GFC) Morgan Nursery, and single nursery protocol consistently produced high quality oak seedlings. The fertility baseline developed at the Institute of Tree Root Biology's Whitehall Experimental Nursery and adjusted for three GFC nurseries has a background target level at Ca, K, P, Mg, Cu, Zn, and B of 500, 80, 80, 50, 0.3-3, 3-8 and 0.4-1.2 ppm, respectively, at the time of sowing. Up to 1,345 kg/ha of NH4NO3 are applied throughout the growing season in small increments at regularly scheduled intervals. When most seedlings are entering their second growth flush regular irrigation is stopped, and water is provided only when tensiometers register 30 to 50 centibars. The desired seedbed density is between 54 and 57/m2. This protocol permits ready identification of competitive seedlings. Individuals with the potential to develop high numbers of first-order lateral roots (FOLR) are well established in the dominant canopy in nursery beds.Based on stem and root characteristics, approximately half of the seedlings of most species can be classified as desirable. For most species of oak.Competitive ability of these seedlings after outplanting has not been determined. Specific species attributes based on their site required are obvious when seedlings are lifted and are discussed.