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Forests 2014, 5(10), 2581-2593; doi:10.3390/f5102581

Long-Term Soil Productivity in Christmas Tree Farms of Oregon and Washington: A Comparative Analysis between First- and Multi-Rotation Plantations

1
Department of Forest Engineering, Resources & Management, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
2
Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 August 2014 / Revised: 17 October 2014 / Accepted: 21 October 2014 / Published: 23 October 2014
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Abstract

Christmas tree production removes organic matter and associated nutrients from a site and can change soil physical properties, reduce mycorrhizal populations, and result in pesticide over-use/accumulation. These impacts have been implicated in potential field productivity declines. Assessing Christmas tree productivity is complicated by genetics, management, and market forces. We approached the perceived or possible productivity decline by examining soil properties on 22 pairs of sites. Each pair was comprised of an early rotation and late rotation plot with 1 and 3 or more rotations of Christmas trees, respectively. All sites were located on commercial Christmas tree plantations from the major production areas in Washington and Oregon. Chemical properties assessed to 45cm included pH, total C and N, and extractable P, K, Ca, and Mg. Soil physical properties assessed included aggregate stability and soil resistance. In general, we found little impact on soil resources that would impact long term production of Christmas trees. These impacts may have been mitigated by farmers following extension service recommendations. Nitrogen, K, and Ca appeared to be primarily affected by harvesting, but replacement by fertilizer application was probably adequate. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil carbon; soil nutrients; long-term soil productivity; soil compaction; Christmas tree; soil calcium soil carbon; soil nutrients; long-term soil productivity; soil compaction; Christmas tree; soil calcium
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hatten, J.; Landgren, C.; Hart, J. Long-Term Soil Productivity in Christmas Tree Farms of Oregon and Washington: A Comparative Analysis between First- and Multi-Rotation Plantations. Forests 2014, 5, 2581-2593.

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