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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Byron, Georgia » Fruit and Tree Nut Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #194996

Title: Pecan tree biomass estimates

item Smith, Michael
item Wood, Bruce

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/18/2006
Publication Date: 8/1/2006
Citation: Smith, M., Wood, B.W. 2006. Pecan tree biomass estimates. HortScience. 41(5):1286-1291.

Interpretive Summary: The ability of pecan tree researchers to accurately determine amount of tree chemical or biomass components on a whole-tree basis is critical for determination of many different factors needed for studies in tree biology and ecology. A series of equations were developed that enable scientists to accurately estimate biomass components of pecan trees by simply measuring tree trunk diameter. These equations enable advancement of tree physiology, ecology, and horticultural sciences and therefore refinement of farming strategies to minimize economic cost while ensuring protection of the environment.

Technical Abstract: Allometric equations were developed for orchard-grown pecan [Carya illinoinensis (Wangenh.) C. Koch] trees. Trees, ranging in size from 22 to 33 cm in trunk diameter 1.4 m above the ground, were destructively harvested from two sites. The entire above-ground portion of the trees was harvested and then divided into leaves, current season’s shoots, and branches > 1-year-old plus trunk. Roots were sampled by digging a trench beginning beneath the trunk and extending to one-half the distance to an adjacent tree, then separating the roots from the soil. Roots were then divided into those < 1 cm diameter and > 1 cm in diameter. Equations in the form Y = eaXb were developed to estimate dry biomass of most tree components and the whole tree where Y = dry weight, e = the base of the natural logarithm 2.71828, X = the trunk diameter at 1.4 m above the ground and a and b are coefficients. A linear equation provided the best fit for estimating the weight of current season's growth. Power equations were also developed to estimate the weights of inner bark and wood for different size trunks or branches.