iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Combined pre-hardening and fall fertilization facilitates N storage and field performance of Pinus tabulaeformis seedlings

Guolei Li (1)   , Jiaxi Wang (1), Juan A Oliet (2), Douglass F Jacobs (3)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 9, Issue 3, Pages 483-489 (2016)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor1708-008
Published: Jan 07, 2016 - Copyright © 2016 SISEF

Research Articles

Exponential fertilization during the pre-hardening stage and fall fertilization during the hardening stage have each been used independently to nutrient load seedlings. However, nursery and field responses of seedlings to the combination of exponential fertilization and fall fertilization have received little attention. Chinese pine (Pinus tabulaeformis Car.) container seedlings were exponentially fertilized with accumulated totals of 40, 80 or 120 mg N per seedling during pre-hardening, and fall-fertilized with 0, 12, 24 or 48 mg N per seedling, and were subsequently outplanted and followed for two growing seasons. Interactions of exponential and fall fertilization had significant effects on plant N content in the nursery and first-year height after outplanting. Fall fertilization promoted additional nutrient loading during hardening for the 40-80 mg N per seedling pre-hardening regimes. The highest exponential fertilization rate enhanced N concentration in foliage and roots compared to the other two rates. Maximum diameter was observed in the lowest exponential fertilization rate at the second year after outplanting. Fall fertilization enhanced foliar N concentration. Supplemental 12 and 24 mg N per seedling during fall were more effective in increasing height increment at the second year after outplanting. Our results indicate that pre-hardening fertilization is a useful tool to nutrient load Chinese pine in the nursery and facilitate outplanting performance in the field. In combination, fall fertilization has potential to further augment this response, although further research is needed to precisely match rates of pre-hardening and fall fertilization to optimize seedling performance.


Exponential Fertilization, Fall Fertilization, Nutrient-loading, Field Performance, Chinese Pine

Authors’ address

Guolei Li
Jiaxi Wang
Key Laboratory for Silviculture and Conservation, Ministry of Education, Beijing Forestry University, 35 East Qinghua Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100083 (China)
Juan A Oliet
Department of Natural Systems and Resources, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria s/n, 28040 Madrid (Spain)
Douglass F Jacobs
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2061 (USA)

Corresponding author

Guolei Li


Li G, Wang J, Oliet JA, Jacobs DF (2016). Combined pre-hardening and fall fertilization facilitates N storage and field performance of Pinus tabulaeformis seedlings. iForest 9: 483-489. - doi: 10.3832/ifor1708-008

Academic Editor

Gianfranco Minotta

Paper history

Received: May 12, 2015
Accepted: Sep 20, 2015

First online: Jan 07, 2016
Publication Date: Jun 01, 2016
Publication Time: 3.63 months

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