Title page for ETD etd-7697-124846

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Kelting, Matthew P.
Author's Email Address none_known
URN etd-7697-124846
Title Effects of Soil Amendments and Biostimulants on the Post-transplant Growth of Landscape Trees
Degree Master of Science
Department Horticulture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Appleton, Bonnie L.
Mou, Paul P.
Niemiera, Alexander X.
Harris, James Roger Committee Chair
  • acer rubrum
  • crataegus phaenopyrum
  • transplanting
  • roots
Date of Defense 1997-02-07
Availability unrestricted
Use of soil amendments at planting is one of the time-honored traditions in horticulture, although

their effectiveness has been questioned by many. Recently, humate and humate-based products,

generally known as biostimulants, have been marketed to increase transplant success. In this

study, three experiments were conducted to examine the effects of soil amendments and

biostimulants on post-transplant growth of landscape trees. The first experiment, conducted in a

greenhouse, determined the effects of several biostimulant treatments (granular humate, water-soluble

humate, liquid humate, liquid humate+ = humic acid, hormones, and vitamins) and

fertilizer levels (low, medium, high) on the growth of container-grown Corylus colurna L.

(Turkish hazelnut) seedlings. Biostimulants did not increase top growth compared to control

treatments, but root growth was increased by granular humate at a medium fertilizer rate. The

second experiment examined the effects of biostimulants (granular humate, water-soluble humate,

liquid humate+) on the post-transplant root growth and sap-flow of landscape-sized balled and

burlapped Acer rubrum L. (red maple) grown in root observation compartments (rhizotrons).

Biostimulants did not increase root growth over control treatments, but sap-flow was increased.

The third experiment, conducted in the field (Groseclose silt loam soil) investigated the effects of

soil amendments (peat, and compost) and biostimulants (granular humate, and liquid humate+) on

the post-transplant growth of Crataegus phaenopyrum (Blume) Hara (Washington hawthorn) and

red maple transplanted bare-root, and grown under combinations of irrigated vs non-irrigated and

fertilized-at-planting vs non-fertilized-at-planting regimes. Hawthorn controls generally had less

top growth than the other soil treatments as a whole. No soil treatment was higher than control

for top growth of red maple. However, root growth of red maple was highest in the peat-treated

trees. Stem diameter and dry mass for the control and compost treatments were higher than the

biostimulant treatments in irrigated plots, but no differences were observed in non-irrigated plots.

Granular humate-treated trees resulted in higher stem diameter and dry mass than the liquid

humate+-treated trees in non-irrigated plots. There were no effects of fertilizer, or irrigation on

growth after two growing seasons for either species.

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