survey of fertility practices, soil fertility status, and tree nutrient status on eastern North Carolina Christmas tree farms
Rideout, J.W. | Overstreet, L.F.
"Choose and cut" Christmas tree production is gaining popularity in North Carolina, as well as the Southeastern United States. There are few recommendations concerning the fertility of Christmas trees except for the large Fraser fir (Abies fraseri) industry in the Appalachian mountain region. Outside of the mountains, Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana), eastern white pine (Pinus strobus), red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), and Leyland cypress (X Cupressocyparis leylandii) are commonly grown as "choose and cut" trees. This study was conducted in the piedmont and coastal plain of North Carolina with the objectives to determine (1) the fertility practices currently being used and (2) the current soil and tissue nutrient status of "choose and cut" Christmas tree fields. A mail survey was used to accomplish the first objective. Twenty farms, selected from survey respondents, were sampled to determine current soil and tissue nutrient status. Soil samples were taken at three depths to 45 cm. Survey data indicated that a wide variety of fertilization materials and practices were being used. Spring applications were somewhat common, but actual time of application varied. Tissue and soil levels of nutrients also varied. There was a poor relationship between soil test nutrient levels and tissue nutrient levels, indicating the need for routine tissue analysis. This study indicated the need for future research and extension programs focusing on eastern Christmas tree fertility. In particular, the survey indicated that Leyland cypress, for which no specific soil fertility recommendations exist, is grown widely enough to merit recommendation development.Show more [+] Less [-]