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Title:Horticultural utilization of waste products from sustainable forestry practices in the Pinelands National Reserve
Author(s):Cleveland, Travis E.
Advisor(s):Williams, David J.
Department / Program:Crop Sciences
Discipline:Crop Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):flailed pine slash
sustainable forestry
forestry waste products
peat substitute
cranberry propagation
container media
Pinelands National Reserve
Abstract:Forestry operations in the Pinelands National Reserve (PNR) produce significant quantities of plant residues, commonly referred to as flailed slash. The residues consist of needles, bark and wood from a variety of pine species that include: pitch pine, Pinus rigida, virginia pine, Pinus virginiana, and shortleaf pine, Pinus echinata. Currently, the slash material is not being utilized and accumulates as a waste product. A more desirable solution would be to process the flailed pine slash into marketable products to provide landowners with an economic incentive that would encourage better management practices. Three experimental container substrates were produced using flailed pine slash of three different ages combined with mushroom compost and dolomitic limestone. An outdoor container production study was performed using conditions similar to a commercial crop production system. Three species of woody plants were grown in each experimental substrate. Shoot growth was measured by height and dry mass. Experimental substrates were analyzed for pH, electrical conductivity, particle size distribution and bulk density. Flailed pine slash proved to be a successful component of container substrates for woody landscape plant production. Substrates containing 80% flailed pine slash and 20% mushroom compost, by volume, that were amended with five pounds of lime per cubic yard of flailed pine slash were able to sustain commercially acceptable plant growth. Substrates containing flailed pine slash, which had been allowed to decompose for three years, produced plants that were statistically better or equal to plants grown in medium commercially available to growers. In a second set of experiments, six experimental propagation media were developed for use with cranberries. Three media contained flailed pine slash that had been allowed to decompose for two years and three additional media contained flailed pine slash that had been allowed to decompose for three years. Batches of these media were un-amended or amended with either sand or perlite producing a total of six different media. After mixing, the experimental propagation media were transferred to 38 round cell propagation trays. Hardwood cuttings of American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon cv. Stevens), 7.6 cm (3 inches) in length, were dipped in a 1000 mg/l IBA solution and inserted individually into cells. Data on percentage of survival, total top growth per flat (measured by length), total number of secondary branches and total number of tertiary branches was collected. No difference in percent survivability was observed. More cranberry shoot growth was observed on un-amended flailed pine slash media and media amended with perlite, when compared to those amended with sand. The number of secondary and tertiary shoots was greatest with the un-amended mixes and the perlite-amended three-year-old flailed pine slash. In this thesis, flailed pine slash was successfully utilized as a propagation medium for hardwood American Cranberry cuttings. The pine slash can be utilized with or without perlite amendment. This research demonstrates that flailed pine slash can be converted into marketable horticultural products with minimal processing and amendment. Utilization of the pine slash material can provide landowners with an economic incentive to encourage better management practices. Flailed pine slash can provide a sustainable alternative to sphagnum peat moss.
Issue Date:2011-05-25
Rights Information:
Copyright 2011 Travis E. Cleveland
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-25
Date Deposited:2011-05

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