Survival of planted seedlings following a regeneration harvest can be challenging and early interventions through silvicultural treatments may be required for successful stand establishment. We tested the influence of soil amendment (biochar plus compost, compost-only, or control) and vegetation control (VC; applied either initially or annually for five years using brush saws) on the growth and survival of jack pine at three sites in northern Minnesota. Application of the biochar plus compost soil amendment increased seedling survival by 30% relative to the control in the first year, but there was no significant difference in survival among soil amendment treatments after five years. Both soil amendments increased diameter growth relative to the control (14% increase with biochar plus compost, 10% increase with compost only), with most of the biochar plus compost effect attributed to the compost. Annual VC increased diameter growth by 17% relative to initial VC, but overall effects on survival and growth were generally small relative to reported effects of VC via herbicide. The limited short-term influence of biochar and manual VC on growth and survival of jack pine indicates that these practices are likely not an effective means to increase jack pine establishment, but other benefits (e.g., increased carbon storage) may become apparent with time.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding for this work was provided by the University of Minnesota, Department of Forest Resources and the Minnesota Forest Resources Council.
© 2021 Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of American Foresters.
- brush saws
- weed control