343 Effects of Jiffy Forestry Peat Pellets on Rooting and Subsequent Field Performance of Stem Cuttings of Loblolly Pine

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  • 1 Dept. of Forestry, NCSU Loblolly and Slash Pine Rooted Cutting Program, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-8002

Experiments conducted in January (hardwood cuttings) and June (softwood cuttings) 1998 compared rooting and root dry weight (DW) of stem cuttings of three full-sib families of loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) rooted in Jiffy forestry peat pellets and Ray Leach Super Cells. Ray Leach Super Cells (vol.= 162 cm3) served as the control and contained a medium of 2 peat: 3 perlite (v/v). Pellet sizes used were 25-65, 30-65, 36-65, 36-75, 42-65, 42-80, and 50-95 (dry diam.-expanded height in mm). Cuttings were taken from hedged stock plants and rooted for 12 weeks under mist in a humidity-controlled greenhouse. Following evaluation for rooting in the June experiment, ≈500 rooted cuttings in pellets and Ray Leach Super Cells were field-planted in eastern Georgia in December 1998 to study the effect of pellet size and cutting development on first-year field growth. Rooting percentages in January for hardwood cuttings rooted in pellet sizes 42-80 (36%) and 50-95 (57%) were less than the control (83%). Root DW for each pellet size was less than the control. Rooting percentage in June for softwood cuttings rooted in pellet size 36-65 (77%) was greater than the control (64%) whereas rooting percentages for cuttings rooted in pellet sizes 42-80 (50%) and 50-95 (52%) were less than the control. Root DWs for cuttings in pellet sizes 25-65, 30-65, 36-65, and 42-65 were less than the control. Field performance data will be presented.

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