Canadian Forest Service Publications

Shoot and root sensitivity of containerized black spruce, white spruce and jack pine seedlings to late fall freezing. 1996. Bigras, F.J.; Margolis, H.A. New Forests 13: 29-49.

Year: 1996

Issued by: Laurentian Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 16755

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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Damage to containerized forest seedlings due to freezing can occur in the fall or early winter in Canadian forest nurseries. The following spring, damage to shoots and impairment of growth is observed. The objectives of this experiment were to measure the impact of late fall low temperatures (0° to –30 °C) on whole seedlings of the three most common species used for reforestation in Quebec: black spruce (BS), white spruce (WS) and jack pine (JP). Impacts of freezing temperatures on (i) whole seedling and apical bud mortality, (ii) shoot growth and root mortality, (iii) stem electrical resistance, (iv) shoot and root water relations, (v) concentrations of N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and total sugars in shoots were assessed. JP showed the highest rate of whole seedling mortality while WS showed the highest rate of apical bud mortality. JP was the most severely affected: destruction of the root system at low temperatures as well as a reduction of shoot growth and stem diameter and a decrease (more negative) in shoot and root water potential.WS showed a reduction of shoot growth despite no apparent damage to the root system at low temperatures. BS was not affected by températures as low as –30 °C. Nutrient and sugar concentrations were not affected by low temperature treatments.