Growth of precommercially thinned loblolly pine 4 years following application of poultry litterThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Application of poultry litter to southern pine stands represents a potentially attractive litter disposal option. Many pine stands are nutrient-limited and might respond positively to the added nutrients. However, the ability of pine stands to respond to nutrients contained in the litter, as well as contain the nutrients on site, has not been thoroughly investigated. We applied poultry litter to a recently-thinned 8-year-old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) stand at 0, 5.6, and 23 Mg ha-1 (dry-weight basis), supplying 0, 200, and 800 kg N ha-1. Growth was tracked for four growing seasons following application. Average height growth was generally unaffected by treatments over the 4-year period. Diameter, basal area, and total cubic volume increments were all elevated by the litter application over the first three growing seasons, but annual increments in all treatments dropped substantially in year 4. Total basal area and standing volume at end of year 4 were significantly greater in the N200 and N800 treatments.