Initial height and diameter are equally related to survival and growth of hardwood seedlings in first year after field planting
AbstractThis study compares the relation of initial height and root collar diameter of bareroot hardwoods seedlings to survival and growth in first year after planting. A total of six species used in Serbian reforestation programs were tested (four native: Fagus sylvatica, Ulmus laevis, Fraxinus excelsior, and Acer pseudoplatanus and two exotic: Robinia pseudoacacia, and Quercus rubra), at 6 sites with a wide range of environmental conditions. Initial seedling height and diameter were equally related to field performance and better in forecasting growth than survival. The relation between seedlings initial morphological attributes and survival was species specific, while for all tested species growth was positively correlated to seedling size at planting. Although large seedlings kept their advantage in size, smaller seedlings grew at a higher rate. Both initial H and D should be considered as equally important in operational programs for hardwoods seedling quality testing.
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