Use of copper in pine nurseries


  • David B. South School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, AL
  • Nina Payne School of Forestry and Wildlife Science, Auburn University, AL


Nutrition, Foliar analysis, Soil testing, Hidden hunger, Toxicity


Copper has been used by nursery managers for more than 100 years to suppress fungi and as a fertilizer for more than 50 years. Consequently, nursery seedlings with copper deficiencies are rare, especially for broadleaf species. In many nurseries, soil contains <10 μg-Cu g-1 and in greenhouse trials, pine seedlings are relatively tolerant of soil levels with 35 μg-Cu g-1. A million bareroot pine seedlings may contain 50 to 100 g-Cu and, when soil tests indicate low copper levels, managers might apply 1 kg-Cu per million seedlings. In contrast, it may take only 15 g-Cu to produce one million container-grown seedlings. Copper fertilization is typically not required when 30 cm of applied irrigation water contains 0.1 μg-Cu g-1 (supplying 0.3 kg-Cu ha-1). This review highlights some of the past and current uses of copper in bareroot and container nurseries with a focus on deficiency and toxicity effects as well as the impact of various copper-based products and provides recommendations on ideal soil and foliar ranges.


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Author Biography

  • David B. South, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn University, AL

    Emeritus Professor



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How to Cite

“Use of Copper in Pine Nurseries”. REFORESTA, no. 9 (June 30, 2020): 66–106. Accessed May 20, 2024.