Response of a young interior spruce plantation to fertilizer application (E.P. 886.07)


In the mid- 1980's, operational staff of the Penticton Forest District in south-central British Columbia expressed concern regarding the slow growth of several 10- to 15-year old Engelmann spruce plantations. In most cases, the plantations occurred on coarse-textured soils derived from glacial till of predominantly granitic origin. Most sites had been broadcast burned prior to plantation establishment. Many of the plantations were severely chlorotic, and foliar analysis data indicated probable multiple nutrient deficiencies. A study was subsequently undertaken to determine whether the growth of these plantations could be improved by fertilization.


To determine whether the growth and nutrition of a slow-growing Engelmann spruce plantation can be improved by fertilization.


Each of seven fertilizer treatments was randomly applied to three circular plots. The treatments consisted of single and combined applications of various granular fertilizers and foliar sprays.

Response to fertilization was evaluated in three ways: i) 1st- and 2nd-year foliar nutrient concentration, ii) 1st- 2nd-, and 3rd-year height increment, and iii) 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-year branch elongation.

The study is now inactive.


  • Brockley, R.P. 1992. Effects of fertilization on the nutrition and growth of a slow growing Engelmann spruce plantation in south central British Columbia. Can. J. For. Res. 22:1617–1622.