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Open access

Alexander X. Niemiera and Robert D. Wright

Abstract

Nitrification in a pine bark medium in response to a range of applied NH4-N levels (25, 100, and 200 ppm) was studied. Medium solution NH4-N concentrations at the 25 ppm N treatment decreased from 30 ppm at day 1 to 0 ppm at day 40. Ammoniacal-N concentration values decreased from 64 to 6 ppm and from 105 to 20 ppm for the 100- and 200-ppm N treatments, respectively, by day 60. Rapid increases in medium solution NO3-N concentrations coincided with these NH4-N decreases, resulting in low medium solution NH4-N:NO3-N ratios. During the periods of NO3-N increase, medium solution pH decreased 0.3, 0.7, and 1.3 units for the 25-, 100-, and 200-ppm N treatments, respectively. Similarly treated bark without plants was used to determine a NO3-N accumulation rate (NAR). NAR data indicated that the NH4-N supply of the 100- and 200-ppm N treatments exceeded the oxidative capacity of nitrifiers during a 96-hr period.

Open access

Alexander X. Niemiera and Robert D. Wright

Abstract

A 100% pine bark medium was amended with dolomitic lime at 0, 3, or 6 kg·m−3 and periodically fertilized with 210 ml of a nutrient solution containing 100 ppm N as (NH4)2S04. At the 3- and 6-kg lime treatments, medium solution NH4-N concentrations decreased rapidly while N03-N concentrations increased. At 0 kg lime, the NH4-N decrease was slower than at the 3- and 6-kg lime treatments and N03-N was not found. Similarly treated bark without plants was used to determine a N03-N accumulation rate (NAR). NAR was greatest at 6 kg of lime, except at the last 2 sampling dates, when NAR did not differ between 3 and 6 kg of lime. This lack of difference was attributed to a limiting NH4-N supply at 6 kg of lime. In a 2nd experiment, NAR of bark treated with 6 kg of lime per m3 and fertilized with 300 ppm NH4-N was 3 times greater than with bark treated with 100 ppm NH4-N, thus supporting the contention that, over time, the NH4-N supply of the 100-ppm treatment limited nitrification. These results indicate that the stimulative influence of lime on nitrification is subject to medium pH and NH4-N status that changes over time.

Free access

Brian E. Jackson, Robert D. Wright, and Jake F. Browder

Many industrial and agricultural wastes have been evaluated for use as alternative container substrate components. Recently, a new material produced from ground pine logs (Pinus taeda L.) has been utilized as a substitute for peat moss and pine bark (PB). On 17 Aug. 2005, japanese holly (Ilex crenata `Compacta' Thunb.) plants were potted in milled PB (Pinus taeda L.) and debarked ground pine chips (PC). Pine chips were ground with a hammermill to pass through a 6.35-mm screen. Osmocote Plus 15–9–12 (15N–4P–10K) was incorporated in both PB and PC substrates at the rates of 3.5, 5.9, 8.3, and 10.6 kg·m-3. Plants were greenhouse grown until 22 Nov. 2005. Substrate solution nutrient content and pH were determined for all treatments in each substrate. Shoots were dried, weighted, and tissue analyzed for N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Cu, Mn, and Zn. Shoot weights were higher in plants grown in PB than PC at the 3.5 and 5.9 kg·m-3 fertilizer rates. At the 8.3 kg·m-3 rate, shoot dry weight was about the same for each substrate, but at the 10.6 kg·m-3 rate, growth was higher for plants grown in PC than in PB. Substrate EC increased with increasing fertilizer rates and with the exception of Cu, was higher in PB substrates at all fertilizer rates. Plant tissue levels generally increased as fertilizer rate increased in both substrates but were higher in plants grown in PB than PC with the exception of Cu. Therefore, higher rates of fertilizer are required to produce optimal plant growth in PC compared to PB.

Free access

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

The objective of this study was to determine the effects of lime and micronutrient amendments on growth of seedlings of nine container-grown landscape tree species in two pine bark substrates with different pHs. Acer palmatum Thunb. (Japanese maple), Acer saccharum Marsh. (sugar maple), Cercis canadensis L. (redbud), Cornus florida L. (flowering dogwood), Cornus kousa Hance. (kousa dogwood), Koelreuteria paniculata Laxm. (golden-rain tree), Magnolia ×soulangiana Soul.-Bod. `Lennei' (magnolia), Nyssa sylvatica Marsh. (blackgum), and Quercus palustris Müenchh. (pin oak) were grown from seed in two pine bark substrates with different pHs (pH 4.7 and 5.1) (Expt. 1). Preplant amendment treatments for each of two pine (Pinus taeda L.) bark sources were: with and without dolomitic limestone (3.6 kg·m–3) and with and without micronutrients (0.9 kg·m–3), and with and without micronutrients (0.9 kg·m–3), supplied as Micromax. Seedlings were harvested 12 and 19 weeks after seeds were planted, and shoot dry weight and tree height were determined. The same experiment was repeated using two of the nine species from Expt. 1 and pine bark substrates at pH 5.1 and 5.8 (Expt. 2). Seedling shoot dry weight and height were measured 11 weeks after planting. For both experiments, pine bark solutions were extracted using the pour-through method and analyzed for Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn. Growth of all species in both experiments was greater in micronutrient-amended than in lime-amended bark. In general, adding micronutrients increased nutrient concentrations in the pine bark solution, while adding lime decreased them. Effect of bark type on growth in Expt. 1 was variable; however, in Expt. 2, growth was greater in the low pH bark than in the high pH bark. In general, nutrient concentrations in bark solutions were higher in low pH bark than in high pH bark for both experiments. Under the pH conditions of this experiment, micronutrient additions stimulated growth whereas a lime amendment did not.

Open access

Alexander X. Niemiera and Robert D. Wright

Abstract

Three genera of woody plants were container-grown in a pine bark medium. Pine bark was amended or unamended with nitrapyrin (NI) and fertilized with an NH4-N fertilizer. Medium solution NH4-N concentrations of bark without NI decreased rapidly for the first 3 to 5 weeks with a concomitant increase in NO3-N concentrations. Medium solution pH at 0 NI decreased 0.8 unit during periods of rapid NO3-N accumulation. The low medium solution pH of the 0 NI treatment resulted in solution Ca, Mg, and Mn concentrations that were several times greater than at 82 μg of NI. Correspondingly, tissue concentrations of these ions were generally greater at the 0 NI treatment than at the 82 μg NI treatment. In general, there were no differences in shoot dry weight in response to NI treatment. Results indicate that nitrification is important in the nutrition of container-grown plants.

Open access

F. A. Pokorny, P. G. Gibson, and M. G. Dunavent

Abstract

An equation for predicting bulk density (BD) of pine bark and sand potting media was devised using BD data from laboratory analysis of individual components. BD values calculated from the predictive equation and actual values obtained from potting medium samples were compared. Actual and predicted BD increased linearly with each incremental increase in percentage sand in the medium. Actual and predicted BD values were not significantly different. The devised equation is applicable to media other than bark and sand.

Open access

D. C. Wilkerson and E. N. O’Rourke

Abstract

An amended pine bark growing medium was extracted for varying lengths of time using modified Spurway, Louisiana State Univ. (LSU), and double acid analytical systems. Concentrations of P, K, Ca, and Mg were then determined in the filtrate. As the extraction time was lengthened, the quantity of P, K, Ca, and Mg removed from the medium increased for each system. The concentration and type of nutrients removed varied according to the composition and action of the extractant.

Free access

Helen H. Tyler and Stuart L. Warren

An experiment with a factorial treatment combination in a split plot design with five single plant replications was conducted to evaluate the effects of five rates of fertilizer addition and two irrigation volumes on plant growth in a composted turkey-litter-amended pine bark substrate. Main plots were daily applications of 600 or 900 ml/3.8-L container. Subplots were either 0, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, or 4.0 g N additions (Osmocote High H 24N–1.7P–5.8K) per container topdressed on a substrate composed of pine bark amended with 8% (by volume) composted turkey litter. No additional amendments were made to the compost amended substrates. An additional “industry control” treatment consisted of an 8 pine bark: 1 sand (by volume) substrate amended with 3.0 kg/m3 dolomitic limestone and 0.9 kg/m3 Micromax and topdressed with 3.5 g N (Osmocote High N) per container. After 134 days, Cotoneaster dammeri `Skogholm' and Rudbeckia fulgida `Goldsturm' plants were harvested and shoot and root (cotoneaster only) dry weights were determined. Cotoneaster shoot and root dry weights and rudbeckia shoot dry weight increased linearly as N rate increased from 0 to 4.0 g N. Irrigation volume did not affect cotoneaster shoot or root dry weights. Rudbeckia shoot dry weight was 18% greater with 900 ml than with 600 ml of irrigation. Rudbeckia growth in compost amended substrate was greater than in the industry control when topdressed with ≥1.0 g N. Shoot growth of cotoneaster in the industry control substrate and compost amended substrate with ≥ 3.0 g N applied was similar.

Open access

F. J. Regulski Jr.

Abstract

Rewetting of gasifier residue (GR) at 0% of container capacity was greater than milled pine bark (B) or Canadian sphagnum peat moss (P). The percentage of container capacity necessary to obtain 80% rewetting of GR was substantially lower than for either P or B (5%, 23%, and 25%, respectively). Neither the rewetting of B, P, or GR at 0% of container capacity, nor the percentage of container capacity necessary to produce 80% rewetting of these media were affected by Aqua-Gro wetting agent (WA). Addition of GR in excess of 75% substantially increased the percentage of rewetting of both B and P.

Free access

Carleton B Wood, Timothy J. Smalley, and Mark Rieger

Container-grown Viburnum plicatum var. tomentosum `Mariesii' were planted in tilled beds and tilled beds amended with aged pine bark. After transplanting, plants were fertilized at three different rates: no fertilizer, 18.4 g of N m-2, and 36.8 g of N m-2. A 31 day drought was begun 73 days after planting. Fertilization of tilled plots induced ammonium toxicity, which caused a linear reduction in leaf area, shoot dry weight, and root dry weight. Fertilization of amended plots had no effect on shoot growth but reduced mot growth by 54%; thus, amendments ameliorated ammonium toxicity. Between 10 and 28 days after beginning the drought, plants in unfertilized-amended plots maintained higher relative leaf water contents (RLWC) and relative leaf expansion rates (RLER) than plants in unfertilized-tilled plots. Amendment induced nitrogen deficiencies contributed to the increased drought tolerance of plants from unfertilized-amended plots. Since fertilized plants developed symptoms of ammonium toxicity, we were unable to determine if increasing fertility would counteract the drought tolerance conferred by pine bark soil amendments.