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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Production of Annual Vinca (Catharanthus roseus) in WholeTree Substrates

Authors
item Fain, Glenn
item Gilliam, Charles - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Sibley, Jeff - AUBURN UNIVERSITY
item Boyer, Cheryl - AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Submitted to: HortTechnology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2007
Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Citation: Fain, G.B., Gilliam, C.H., Sibley, J.L., Boyer, C.R. 2008. Production of Annual Vinca (Catharanthus roseus) in WholeTree Substrates. HortTechnology 18:13-17.

Interpretive Summary: The objective of the research presented here was to evaluate three species of processed whole pine trees as alternative growth substrates for container-grown annual vinca. At 54 days after potting shoot dry weights were about 15% greater for plants grown in 100% pinebark substrate compared to plants grown in the three WholeTree substrates. However there were no differences in plant growth indices for any substrate at 54 days after potting. Plant tissue macro nutrient content was similar among all substrates. Tissue micro nutrient content was similar and within sufficiency ranges with the exception of Manganese. Manganese was highest for substrates made from slash and loblolly pine and well over the reported sufficiency range. Root ratings were similar among all treatments. Based on these results, WholeTree substrates have potential as an alternative, sustainable source for a substrate used in producing short term nursery crops.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate the potential use of container substrates composed of processed whole pine trees (WholeTree). Three species [loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), slash pine (Pinus elliottii) and longleaf pine (Pinus palustris)] of 8-10 year old pine trees were harvested at ground level and the entire tree was chipped with a tree chipper. Chips from each tree species were processed with a hammer mill to pass a 3/8 inch screen. On 29 June 2005 one gallon containers were filled with substrates and placed into full sun under overhead irrigation, and were planted with 72 cell plugs of Catharanthus roseus ‘Little Blanche’. The test was repeated on 27 August 2005 with C. roseus ‘Raspberry Red Cooler’. At 54 days after potting (DAP) shoot dry weights were about 15% greater for plants grown in 100% pinebark substrate compared to plants grown in the three WholeTree substrates. However there were no differences in plant growth indices (GI) for any substrate at 54 DAP. Plant tissue macro nutrient content was similar among all substrates. Tissue micro nutrient content was similar and within sufficiency ranges with the exception of Manganese. Manganese was highest for substrates made from slash and loblolly pine and well over the reported sufficiency range. Root ratings were similar among all treatments. 100% pinebark substrate had about 50% less air space and 32% greater water holding capacity than the other substrates. The second study yielded similar results as the first. Based on these results, WholeTree substrates have potential as an alternative, sustainable source for a substrate used in producing short term nursery crops.

Last Modified: 4/19/2014
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