Comparing cold-stored and freshly lifted water oak (Quercus nigra) seedlings based on physiological parametersThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Water oak is often used in afforestation projects in the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley, but its field performance is often poor due to low survival rates and severe top dieback immediately after planting. The poor physiological quality of planting stock may be a contributing factor to this transplanting problem. In this study, cold storage was investigated to increase dormancy status of seedlings. The physiological status of cold-stored and freshly lifted seedlings was assessed from mid-December to late February during one season using chlorophyll fluorescence, net photosynthesis, freeze-induced electrolyte leakage, and root growth potential. Storing seedlings at 2 °C (36 °F) did not appear to induce dormancy or improve stress resistance in water oak seedlings. Regardless of the storage regime, seedlings appeared to be most hardy and dormant until late January.