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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Effects of Direct Application of Fertilizers and Hydrogel on the Establishment of Poplar Cuttings

Böhlenius, Henrik; Övergaard, Rolf


The aim of poplar plantations is to achieve high biomass production over a short rotation period. This requires low mortality and fast development of the transplants. The experiment described in this paper examines methods aimed at enhancing survival and development of Populus trichocarpa plants by application of fertilizers, a hydrogel or a combination of both to dormant cuttings just before planting. The experiment was carried out at two agricultural sites with different soil characteristics, a loamy sand and a silty loam. It was demonstrated that none of the treatments influenced survival or early growth at the silty loam soil site, and plant development was delayed by the solid fertilizer. At the site with loamy sand, the solid fertilizer negatively affected both survival and early growth. Hydrogel and the combination of hydrogel and the solid fertilizer also hampered early growth. Overall, treatments of poplar cuttings with hydrogel or fertilizers alone, or in combination, may not be a method to reduce poplar cutting mortality or to enhance early plant development on agricultural land. However, our results demonstrate that establishing poplar with cuttings as transplants can be used on both loamy sand and silty loam soils.


Populus trichocarpa; regeneration; cuttings; coating; fertilizer; hydrogel; plant development; establishment

Published in

2014, Volume: 5, number: 12, pages: 2967-2979