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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SOIL APPLICATION OF AGRICULTURAL WASTE TO IMPROVE CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS AND ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Location: National Soil Dynamics Laboratory

Title: Clean Chip Residual as a Substrate for Perennial Nursery Crop Production

Authors
item Boyer, Cheryl - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Fain, Glenn - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Gilliam, Charles - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Gallagher, Thomas - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item TORBERT, HENRY
item Sibley, Jeff - AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Horticulture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 19, 2008
Publication Date: December 1, 2008
Citation: Boyer, C.R., Fain, G.B., Gilliam, C.H., Gallagher, T.V., Torbert III, H.A., Sibley, J.L. 2008. Clean Chip Residual as a Substrate for Perennial Nursery Crop Production. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 26(4):239-246.

Interpretive Summary: Pine bark is commonly used for horticultural potting substrate. However, pine bark is becoming less available and as a result, there is a need to develop alternative substrates for continued profitability of the nursery industry. This study evaluated the growth of eight perennial species in a substrate composed of a pulpwood harvesting by-product called clean chip residual. Results of this study indicated that acceptable growth of perennial plants can be obtained in substrates composed of clean chip residual when compared to pine bark and pine bark amended with peat moss.

Technical Abstract: Pine bark (PB) for horticultural uses is becoming less available and as a result, there is a need to develop alternative substrates for continued profitability of the nursery industry. This study, conducted at Poplarville, MS and Auburn, AL, evaluated the growth of eight perennial species in a substrate composed of a pulpwood harvesting by-product called clean chip residual (CCR) which contains approximately 50% wood fiber. Two CCR particle sizes were used alone or amended with peat moss (PM) (4:1 by volume) and compared with control treatments PB and PB:PM. Substrates composed of 100% PB or 100% CCR had high air space (AS) and low container capacity (CC) which resulted in less available water to plants. Addition of PM lowered AS and increased CC. Leaf chlorophyll content was similar among all treatments for 3 of 4 species evaluated at 100 days after planting. Growth indices were similar at Poplarville for 6 of 8 species and for 3 of 7 species at Auburn. Shoot dry weight was greater in substrates amended with PM. Results of this study indicate that acceptable growth of perennial plants can be obtained in substrates composed of CCR when compared to PB and PB amended with PM.

Last Modified: 9/29/2014