Canadian Forest Service Publications

Short-term growth response of jack pine and spruce spp. to wood ash amendment across Canada. 2019. Emilson, C.E.; Bélanger, N.; Brais, S.; Chisholm, C.E.; Diochon, A.; Joseph, R.; Markham, J.; Morris, D.; Van Rees, K.; Rutherford, M.; Venier, L.A.; Hazlett, P.W. Global Change Biology:

Year: 2019

Issued by: Great Lakes Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 40006

Language: English

Availability: PDF (download)

Available from the Journal's Web site.
DOI: 10.1111/gcbb.12661

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Plain Language Summary

Wood ash amendment to forest soils contributes to the sustainability of the growing bioenergy industry, not only through decreased wood ash waste disposal in landfills, but also by increasing soil/site productivity and tree growth. However, tree growth studies to date have reported variable responses to wood ash, highlighting the need to identify proper application rates under various soil/site conditions to maximize their benefits. By examining trends in tree growth response to wood ash amendment across 8 unique study site spanning 5 Canadian provinces, we found that tree species and the quantity of nutrients in ash applied are important considerations when planning forest wood ash applications. In particular, jack pine responded positively to increasing quantity of wood ash nutrients, and showed the greatest potential for increased productivity when compared to spruce species. These results provide a baseline for monitoring programs, and contribute to our knowledge of optimal wood ash amendment practices linked to the sustainability of bioenergy production. Future work is needed to assess if these trends continue as time since wood ash application increases, especially past 10 years.