The utilization of municipal and industrial by-products as forest soil amendments can improve
forest soil fertility. In this field study, aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) seedlings were
planted at two forested sites (Itasca and Carlton counties) amended with treatments of biosolids,
boiler ash, and inorganic agricultural fertilizers. Experimental treatments included biosolids at
rates equivalent to 70, 140, 210, and 280 kg available N ha-1, two types of boiler ash (application
rates based on % Effective Neutralizing Power), boiler ash plus biosolids, and an untreated
control. Preliminary results are reported for soil properties, aspen seedling survival, height, and
caliper. Soil pH decreased with increased N application from both biosolids and fertilizer
sources, but increased through additions of boiler ash and lime. Soil P increased with increased
biosolids and ash application rates. Soil K increased with ash and K fertilizer applications. No
differences were detected in aspen seedling survival among treatments at the conclusion of the
first and second growing seasons at either installation. Height differences among treatments
were detected through ANOVA in 2000 and 2001, but were inconclusive. Aspen height and
caliper growth in Carlton County was greater than in Itasca County.
Funding was provided by the Department of Forest Resources, the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, and the
North Central Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota; by the Minnesota Legislature ML 1999,
Chap. 231, Sec. 16, Subd. 10(g) as recommended by the Legislative Commission on Minnesota Resources; and by
the Northeast Sustainable Development Partnership.
Cavaleri, Molly A; Gilmore, Daniel W; Mozaffari, Morteza; Rosen, Carl J; Halbach, Thomas R; Mathison, Russell D; O'Brien, Timothy C.
Aspen response to forest soils amended with municipal and industrial by-products on two Northern Minnesota sites : experimental design and preliminary results.
University of Minnesota.
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