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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Using Agricultural and Industrial Byproducts to Improve Crop Production Systems and Environment Quality

Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory

Title: Amending pine bark with alternative substrates

Authors
item Murphy, A -
item Gilliam, C -
item Fain, G -
item Torbert, Henry
item Gallagher, T -
item Sibley, J -
item Marble, S -

Submitted to: Southern Nursery Association Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 10, 2009
Publication Date: January 10, 2009
Citation: Murphy, A., Gilliam, C.H., Fain, G.B., Torbert III, H.A., Gallagher, T.V., Sibley, J.L., Marble, S.C. 2009. Amending pine bark with alternative substrates. Southern Nursery Association Proceedings. 54:186-190.

Interpretive Summary: Due to a number of factors, pine bark supplies have significantly decreased over the past few years. While alternative substrates are being evaluated, many growers are asking if these alternative substrates can be used to stretch existing PB supplies. In this study, two alternative substrates, “Clean Chip Residue” and “WholeTree” were evaluated in varying ratios with pine bark to determine their effect on the growth of five different nursery crops. Both of these alternative substrates contain higher wood content than pine bark alone. The data showed that with most species, nursery producers could amend their pine bark with up to 75% WholeTree or 75% Clean Chip Residual with limited impact on crop growth. This process will also allow nursery producers the opportunity to become comfortable with alternative substrates before switching completely to 100% alternative substrates.

Technical Abstract: Due to a number of factors, pine bark supplies have significantly decreased over the past few years. While alternative substrates are being evaluated, many growers are asking if these alternative substrates can be used to stretch existing PB supplies. In this study, two alternative substrates, “Clean Chip Residue” and “WholeTree” were evaluated in varying ratios with pine bark to determine their effect on the growth of five different nursery crops. Both of these alternative substrates contain higher wood content than pine bark alone. The data showed that with most species, nursery producers could amend their pine bark with up to 75% WholeTree or 75% Clean Chip Residual with limited impact on crop growth. This process will also allow nursery producers the opportunity to become comfortable with alternative substrates before switching completely to 100% alternative substrates.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014
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