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Establishing trees on cut-over peatlands in eastern Canada

Author(s): J. Bussières | S. Boudreau | L. Rochefort

Journal: Mires and Peat
ISSN 1819-754X

Volume: 3;
Issue: 10;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2008;
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Keywords: afforestation | management | nutrients | peatland reclamation | tree plantation

Four major tree-planting trials on cut-over peatlands in eastern Canada were surveyed in 2002, in order to evaluate the potential use of trees in rehabilitation following horticultural peat extraction. At one of the sites, an experiment to determine the appropriate fertilisation rate for trees planted on cut-over peatlands was also conducted over several years. Tree performance was assessed by measuring survival, total height and annual growth of red maple (Acer rubrum L.), tamarack (Larix laricina (Du Roi) Koch.), black spruce (Picea mariana (Mill.) B.S.P.), jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) and hybrid poplar (Populus spp.). Establishment and growth of tamarack and black spruce in cut-over peatlands showed good potential when compared to performance in conventional forestry plantations. Red maple and jack pine gave poor productivity but promising survival, whilst hybrid poplar plantings failed. Adding nutrients was essential for growth but dosages above 122.5 g of 3.4N-8.3P-24.2K per tree gave no further improvement. Therefore, several different tree species can be planted to reclaim cut-over peatlands in eastern Canada, so long as the appropriate species are chosen and nutrients are provided.
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