Canadian Forest Service Publications

Scarification, fertilization and herbicide treatment effects on seedling growth and quality, and soil fertility. 1994. Burgess, D.M.; Baldock, J.A. Pages 95-101 in C.R. Bamsey, Editor. Proceedings: Innovative Silviculture Systems in Boreal Forests, October 2-8, 1994. Clear Lake Ltd., Edmonton, Alberta.

Year: 1994

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 4611

Language: English

Availability: Not available through the CFS (click for more information).

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The influences of soil surface modification (blade scarification and plastic mulching), fertilization and herbicide application on planted Jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) and black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.) trees were examined after seven years on one site within the Boreal forest region of Canada. Seedling survival, growth and quality; and foliar, forest floor and mineral soil nutrient status were assessed. Seedling survival doubled with scarification, but declined generally from 84 to 75% (mean for both species) during the last five years.

Combined silvicultural treatments increased productivity as much as 20 times for Jack pine and 120 times for black spruce; however, negative impacts on seedling quality were noted, especially by herbicide application, and scarification reduced the carbon and nutrient reserves in the forest floor. Foliar nutrient concentrations were little affected by the applied treatments. Soil temperatures increased in response to scarification during the frost-free growing period, but no seasonal differences in soil moisture were noted. Innovative future management approaches in such stands should include the use of softer approaches to vegetation management that reduce plant competition levels without significantly lowering forest floor carbon and nutrient reserves or reducing tree quality.