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Brian E. Jackson, Robert D. Wright, and Mark M. Alley

In recent years, several peat and pine bark (PB) alternative substrates have been developed and researched in the United States and throughout the world. The interest in new substrates is in response to the increasing cost and environmental issues

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Mary Lewnes Albrecht, Maurice E. Watson, and Harry K. Tayama

Abstract

No differences were observed in the level of total acidity, total N and phenolic hydroxyl groups for samples of composted hardwood bark (fresh composted hardwood bark) and composted hardwood bark which had undergone further decomposition (aged composted hardwood bark). Humic acid was extracted from both fresh and aged composted hardwood barks. Yield of humic acid was greater for the aged bark, and there was an increase in the reactive functional groups which are involved in micronutrient chelation (carboxyl groups increased from 2.69 to 3.59 meq/g; phenolic hydroxyls increased from 7.82 to 10.29 meq/g). Alcoholic hydroxyl groups in fresh composted hardwood bark decreased from 2.03 to 0.01 meq/g with aging. From leaching studies it was determined that 0.5 meq/g Cu+2 was bound per gram of dried, fresh bark. Nutrient uptake studies showed that there was a reduction in the foliar nutrient concentration for Lolium multiflorum Lam. for increased cropping time when grown in aged, composted hardwood bark.

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Ray F. Dawson

Quinine, oldest of the anti-malarials still in use, and quinidine, an anti-arrythmic, have been extracted from Cinchona bark since about 1823. Exploitation of natural stands of Cinchona in the Andes led to several attempts at plantation production. Of these, the most successful were in Netherlands Indonesia (Java). Just before World War II, a cooperative effort to develop technologies for successful cultivation of Cinchona in the western hemisphere was undertaken by the governments of the United States and Guatemala, a major pharmaceutical firm, and four Guatemalan coffee planters. Cultural requirements of this cloud-forest genus were ascertained, and selection of clones for superior yield and disease resistance was achieved. Guatemalan plantings continue production despite the excessively cyclic nature of the market.

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Shiv K. Reddy

Various barks, aged and composted to different degrees, are used in potting mixes. These differences have different effects on plant growth. It was observed that electrical conductivities (ECs) of the bark mixes that reduced plant growth were lower when compared to the ECs of the mixes that did not reduce growth, despite the same fertilization. This difference in EC diminished over time, differently for different barks. The decrease in EC was mainly due to a decrease in N. Apparently, nutrients were adsorbed or immobilized, which decreased their availability to the plants. This observation may be used to assess the suitability of a bark. The relative decrease in EC or N of similarly fertilized bark mix vs. no bark, peat mix (that does not reduce EC) may indicate the relative unsuitability of the bark, as related to nutrition. The amount of decrease in EC may also indicate the amount of additional fertilization to be provided to the bark mix during its use. The same method may also be applicable to other wood wastes, such as kenaf, sawdust, etc.

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R. Crofton Sloan, Richard L. Harkess, and William L. Kingery

Urban soils are often not ideal planting sites due to removal of native topsoil or the mixing of topsoil and subsoil at the site. Adding pine bark based soil amendments to a clay soil altered soil bulk density and soil compaction which resulted in improved plant growth. Addition of nitrogen (N) or cotton gin waste to pine bark resulted in improved plant growth compared to pine bark alone. Growth of pansies (Viola × wittrockiana) during the 1999-2000 winter growing season was enhanced by the addition of pine bark plus nitrogen at 3- and 6-inch (7.6- and 15.2-cm) application rates (PBN3 and PBN6) and pine bark plus cotton gin waste at the 6 inch rate (CGW6). Plant size and flower production of vinca (Catharanthus roseus) were reduced by pine bark amendments applied at 3- or 6-inch rates (PB3 or PB6). Crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica) grown in plots amended with 3 or 6 inches of pine bark plus cotton gin waste (CGW3 or CGW6) and pine bark plus nitrogen at 3- or 6-inch rates (PBN3 or PBN6) produced greater shoot growth than other amendment treatments. In some instances PB3 treatments suppressed growth. High levels of N and soluble salts derived from CGW and PBN soil amendments incorporated into the soil probably contributed to the improved plant growth observed in this experiment.

Open access

Steven M. Still, Michael A. Dirr, and John B. Gartner

Abstract

Mung bean (Phaseolus aureus Roxb.) cuttings and cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Marketer) seedlings were cultured in water extracts of bark from silver maple (Acer saccharinum L.) hackberry (Celtis occidentalis L.), sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.) and cottonwood (Populus deltoides Marsh.). Extracts of fresh silver maple bark inhibited root elongation of cucumbers and the adventitious rooting of mung bean. Composting the silver maple bark for 30 days prior to preparing the water extracts reduced inhibition. Pretreatment of fresh silver maple bark extracts with insoluble polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) reduced inhibition and indicated that the inhibitory compound was phenolic in nature. Chromatography and spectral analysis of common phenolic compounds and silver maple bark extracts revealed the toxic substance was similar to tannic acid.

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Amy N. Wright, Alex X. Niemiera, J. Roger Harris, and Robert D. Wright

The objective of this study was to determine the effect of micronutrient fertilization on seedling growth in pine bark with pH ranging from 4.0 to 5.5. Koelreuteria paniculata (Laxm.) was container-grown from seed in pine bark amended (preplant) with 0, 1.2, 2.4, or 3.6 kg/m3 dolomitic limestone and 0 or 0.9 kg/m3 sulfate-based micronutrient fertilizer (Micromax ®). Initial pine bark pH for each lime rate was 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, and 5.5, respectively. Final pH (week 10) ranged from 4.7 to 6.4. Ca and Mg supply in irrigation water was 10.2 and 4.2 mg·L–1. Seedlings were harvested 10 weeks after planting, and shoot dry weight and height were determined. Pine bark solution was extracted using the pour-through method at 3, 7, and 10 weeks after planting. Solution pH was measured, and solutions were analyzed for Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn. Shoot dry weight and height were higher in micronutrient-amended bark than in bark without added micronutrients. Lime (1.2 kg·\batchmode \documentclass[fleqn,10pt,legalpaper]{article} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amsmath} \pagestyle{empty} \begin{document} \(\mathrm{m}^{-_{3}}\) \end{document}) increased growth only in the absence of micronutrient additions. In general, adding micronutrients increased pine bark solution Ca, Mg, and micronutrient concentrations. Adding lime increased pine bark solution pH and Mg concentration and either had no effect on or decreased solution Ca and micronutrient concentrations. Regardless of pine bark pH, micronutrient additions resulted in improved growth and adding lime was not necessary.

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Allen D. Owings, Edward W. Bush, and Mitchell W. Goyne

Leachates were collected at 3-month intervals over 12 months to determine the influence of bark, controlled-release fertilizer, and dolomitic lime sources and dolomitic lime application rates on pH of nursery media. The randomized complete-block design was arranged as a factorial and included three bark sources (pinebark, hardwood, and pinebark + hardwood), two fertilizer sources (Nutricote 17-7-8 and SierraBlen 18-7-10), and two dolomitic lime sources (microencapsulated granular and pulverized). Dolomitic lime application rates were 0, 5, 10, and 15 pounds per cubic yard. Leachate pH was influenced over the one-year evaluation period by fertilizer source, bark source, and application rate of dolomitic lime. Dolomitic lime source was not a significant factor in adjustment of leachate pH. Pinebark medium had lower leachate pHs than hardwood medium and the medium containing hardwood and pinebark. Dolomitic lime influenced leachate pH of pinebark medium more than the other bark sources. SierraBlen was more acid-forming than Nutricote.

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Jeff B. Million, James E. Barrett, Terril A. Nell, and David G. Clark

Dendranthema×grandiflorum (Ramat.) were grown in either a peat-based or pine bark—based medium and drenched with growth retardants at a range of concentrations to generate dose : response curves. The effect of ancymidol, paclobutrazol, and uniconazole on stem elongation was less in the pine bark—based than in the peat-based medium. Generally, the concentrations required to achieve the same response were 3- to 4-fold as high in the pine bark—based medium as in the peat-based medium. However, chlormequat was slightly more active in the pine bark—based medium than in the peat-based medium. Chemical names used: α-cyclopropyl-α—(4-methoxyphenyl)-5-pyrimidinemethanol (ancymidol); (±)-(R*,R*)-β-[(4-chlorophenyl)methyl]-α-(1,1-di methyl)-1H-1,2,4-triazole-1-ethanol (paclobutrazol); (E)-(RS)-1-(4-chlorophenyl)-4,4-dimethyl-2-(1H-1,2,4-triazol-1-yl)pent -l-en-3-ol (uniconazole); 2-chloroethyltrimethylammonium chloride (chlormequat).

Open access

Brenda Biermann and R.G. Linderman

Abstract

The establishment and performance of vesicular–arbuscular mycorrhizae (VAM) formed by Glomus fasciculatum (Thaxter) Gerd. & Trappe were studied on geranium (Pelargonium × hortorum L.H. Bailey) and subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum L.) in various growth media at 2 P fertility levels. Colonization by G. fasciculatum was not extensive and shoot dry weight and P uptake consequently were not increased by VAM in soilless media such as peat, bark, perlite, and vermiculite. In media containing soil and fertilized at the low P level, roots were colonized extensively by G. fasciculatum, and host shoot growth and P concentrations were increased by VAM. Host growth enhancement by VAM was not observed at the higher P fertility level. Differences in colonization and mycorrhizal response in different fertilized growth media were correlated negatively with the logarithm of the equilibrium solution P concentration. Colonization, growth response, and P uptake by geranium inoculated with G. mosseae (Nic. & Gerd.) Gerd. & Trappe or Acaulospora spinosa Walker & Trappe were affected by growth medium and P fertilizer in the same way as plants inoculated with G. fasciculatum. Peat mosses from different sources varied considerably in their effects on mycorrhiza formation by G. fasciculatum, and on growth response of geranium when the peat was diluted with different amounts of soil. These differences appeared to be related to the equilibrium solution P concentration of the fertilized peats, and not to extractable P of the unfertilized peats. Use of rock phosphate or bonemeal instead of NaH2PO4 as a source of P did not improve the establishment of VAM and host growth response in soil, peat, or vermiculite. Addition of 5–10% Turface, bentonite, silt loam soil, or clay subsoil to peat or vermiculite resulted in increased colonization of host roots and significant mycorrhizal growth response, whereas amendment with liquid sludge inhibited formation of mycorrhizae.