Submitted to: Ornamental Outlook
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2005
Publication Date: 12/6/2005
Citation: Albano, J.P., Yeager, T.H., Wilson, C. 2005. Don't prune away profits: pruning can reduce uptake of some nutrients, while releasing others. Ornamental Outlook. December 2005 14:12. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: In summary, intentional (e.g., pruning) or non-intentional [e.g., defoliation due to pest damage, extreme weather e.g. tropical cyclones), etc] manipulation of the plant canopy can alter nutrient uptake. The reduced nutrient uptake of some nutrients and release of others due to pruning may result in a greater potential for nutrient export from production areas. As a consequence, managers may want to apply less nutrients at a given interval to newly pruned plants since uptake may be reduced. Economically, significant amounts of nutrients (production inputs) can be removed in the pruned biomass (Yeager and Ingram,1986). Because of the environmental and economical tradeoffs, growers need to consider the possible impacts of pruning on marketability of the plants, management costs, and the possible impacts on water quality. By considering how each factor influences the other and making management decisions that optimize each, more holistic fiscal and environmental stewardship can result. Though this research is still ongoing, an update is presented here for growers to consider as decisions are made on fertilization of hurricane-damaged plants due to the increased tropical cyclone activity that the southeast has encountered.