Dr. Stanley L. Chapman, Extension Soils Specialist and Dr. R. Larry Willett, Extension Forester
Recent research conducted in the Gulf Coastal Plain and the Ouachita Mountain regions of Arkansas showed significant volume growth responses to nitrogen or nitrogen plus phosphorus fertilizer by loblolly pines.
However, several factors need to be considered before one decides to fertilize. The key points that follow are taken from the Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, General Technical Report SE-36:
Probably the most important point to remember is that pine stands must be well-stocked (but not overstocked) before a response may be observed. This means attention should first be directed toward adjusting the stand density to optimum levels before considering fertilization. The potential for stagnated, overstocked natural stands to respond to fertilization is questionable.
More specific fertilization guidelines can be obtained from your local county Extension agent. Forest managers considering large-scale fertilization are especially encouraged to obtain a copy of General Technical Report SE-36 by Wells and Allen. Write to: Publications, Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, 200 Weaver Boulevard, P.O. Box 2680, Ashville, NC 28802. Your local county Extension office may also be able to provide a photocopy of the report.
Adams, M.B., R.G. Campbell, H.L. Allen, and C.B. Davey. 1987. Root and foliar nutrient concentrations in loblolly pines: Effect of season, site, and fertilization. For. Sci. 33:984-996.
Allen, L.H. 1987. Forest fertilizers: Nutrient amendment, stand productivity, and environmental impact. J. For. 85(2):37-46.
Gent, J.A., H.L. Allen, and R.G. Campbell. 1986. Phosphorus and nitrogen plus phosphorus fertilization in loblolly pine stands at establishment. South J. App. For. 10:114-117.
Gent, J.A., H.L. Allen, R.G. Campbell, and C.G. Wells. 1986. Magnitude, duration, and economic analysis of loblolly pine growth response following bedding and phosphorus fertilization. South J. App. For. 10:124-128.
Haines, L.W., and S.G. Haines. 1979. Fertilization increases growth of loblolly pine and ground cover vegetation on a Cecil soil. Forest Sci. 25:169-174.
Matziris, D.L, and B.J. Zobel. 1976. Effect of fertilization on growth and quality characteristics of loblolly pine. Forest Ecol. And Manag. 1:21-30.
McKee, W.H., Jr., and L.P. Wilhite. 1986. Loblolly pine response to bedding and fertilization varies by drainage class on lower Atlantic Coastal Plain Sites. South J. Appl. For. 10:16-21.
North Carolina State Forest Nutrition cooperative. 1988. Two-year growth and one-year foliar responses of mid-rotation loblolly pine stands to N and P fertilization. Report No. 21, College of Forest Resources, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, 81 pp.
Pritchett, W.L., and J. W. Gooding. 1975. Fertilizer recommendations for pines in the Southeastern Coastal Plain of the United States. Univ. of Florida, Agri. Exp. Sta. Bull. 774, 24 pp.
Vann, J.R. 1984. Increase tree growth and income from forest fertilization. U.S.D.A., For. Serv. South For. Exp. Sta. Report R8-FR4, 11 pp.
Wells, C., and Lee Allen. 1985. When and where to apply fertilizer: A loblolly pine management guide. U.S.D.A. For. Serv., Southeastern For. Exp. Sta., Gen. Tech. Rep. SE-36, 23 pp.
Wells, C.G., J.R. Craig, M.B. Kane, and H.L. Allen. 1986. Foliar and soil tests for the prediction of phosphorus response in loblolly pine. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 50:1330-1335.
Wells, C.G., and D.M. Crutchfield. 1969. Foliar analysis for predicting loblolly pine response to phosphorus fertilization on wet sites. U.S.D.A. For. Serv., Southeastern for. Exp. Sta., Res. Note SE-128, 4 pp.
Wells, C.G., D.M. Crutchfield, N.M. Berenji, and C.B. Davey. 1973. Soil and foliar guidelines for phosphorus fertilization of loblolly pines. U.S.D.A. For. Serv., Southeastern For. Exp. Sta., Res. Pap. SE-110, 15 pp.
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