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Author Topic: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling  (Read 4222 times)

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Offline SwampDonkey

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Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« on: August 21, 2004, 03:04:39 PM »
Beaked Hazel has leaves rich in calcium and manganese, its leaf litter helps to fertilize nearby trees and shrubs.

Brachen Fern increases soil fertility by bringing large amounts of phosphate, nitrogen and potassium into circulation through litter and stem flow. Its rhizomes, which can spread up to 400 feet and live for over 1000 years, also mobilize mineral phosphate. It also contributes to potassium cycling and is associated with high levels of potassium. Its fronds are very sensitive to acid rain, used as a pollution indicator. The fronds are poisonous to livestock and carcinogenic (hydrogen cyanide). Face masks are recommened for people working in dense patches of it. It releases chemicals in the soil which kill surrounding shrubs and vegetation (allelopathic).

Sweet fern, which is an evergreen shrub, fixes nitrogen and is an alternate host of sweet fern blister rust in Jack Pine.

cheers
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Offline etat

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2004, 12:05:19 AM »
starting to worry about ya just a bit swampy ::)
Old Age and Treachery will outperform Youth and Inexperence. The thing is, getting older is starting to be painful.

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2004, 05:42:30 AM »
Read somewhere that alder is a nitrogen fixer like legumes and that it's leaves add tremendous amounts of nitrogen to the soil.
I didn't know Brachen was toxic to people. Glad you said something as I was thinking of weedwacking some so trees would start there. Will that work?
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2004, 03:13:14 PM »
Brachen fern: weed wacking will be good for one year untill the new shoots emerge next spring. ;) They don't seem to be a problem in black spruce plantations I've worked in. I mean they don't seem to kill'm. But I think they nuke hazel and striped maple, which might not be a big loss. ;)


What did ya miss CK? ;)  Some folks just might be interested in learning how to improve forest soils or tree growth without adding some foreign chemical. ;D


errm, I forgot to check the box below for replies. ;)

Yup alder is a nitrogen fixer too, but not exactly. ;) Its the bacterium in the root nodules doin the work. :)

In the Forest 2020 program in Canada they want alder overgrown fields to be excluded from reforestation because they probably fix more carbon than the trees being planted.

Click for info on Forest 2020
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2004, 03:43:33 PM »
So SD What is carbons role w/respect to vegetative growth?  I know that plants use nitrogen,potassium and ( whats the other?)They absorb these disolved in water and use elements like carbon dioxide they get thru leaves( air) but i'm pretty vague on the whole thing and don't know where carbon comes in except that it is part of almost everything on the planet.
Please enlighten me in simple terms. Thanks JM
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2004, 05:10:25 PM »
Carbon is fixed into wood of a tree and food in the form of sugars for energy by photosynthesis. The energy to do this is from the sun which in combination with water and carbon dioxide makes plant food with stored energy. This stored energy is used in a number of the trees processes such as cell respiration in which it gets released and in the uptake of nutrients. Well, the actual energy from respiration is adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP) requiring phosporous , but sugar is the driving force. Carbon is the substance of life, but ATP is the energy we need to keep the ticker runnin and flex our bisceps and other fun stuff. ;D

Carbon gets bound by little critters in the soil also and in rotting debris, but these little critters give up some carbon too by respiring and rotting that debris. Some carbon gets 'trapped' into fossil fuels until its burned, like in the old clinker.

Here is a more  advanced explanation or respiration and photosynthesis, so be warned. Its hard to talk about such things without knowing some basic biology. ;)
http://www.biology-online.org/1/3_respiration.htm

A word or two on phosporous. ;D
http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/Chemistry/MOTM/atp/atp1.htm

I'm a whole lot rusty on all this, so I had to have a quick refresher myself. When I studied this stuff in tree physiology, that was the easy part. One can memorize it right? But, when the exam was about applying this knowledge to real world situations, that's the real stumper. And I gotta admit, I sure didn't ace that final exam. :D :D

Oh, that other nutrient is K (potassium). Along the coast it comes mainly from rain water. Its some of that dust up there that the water condenses on to form clouds, then lets loose on us. ;D

Carbon is one of the main ingredients for tree growth, but the rate it is used and when in any particular species is controlled by sunlight (shade tolerance), water (available mineral salts), and temperature (climate). Did you know that above the arctic circle in Canada , on an Island (Victoria Island), there are petrified cyprus stumps. Today it is a dry frozen desert. ;)
Click for a report on similar petrified trees on Unga Island Alaska

Ok that's enough info :)
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2004, 05:57:08 PM »
Thank you for that. I vaguely remember some of that , now, from biology classes.Like you said: knowing is one thing and applying it is something else.
My mind starts to glaze over when there's more than three words that I can barely pronounce in one sentence.
I have a strong interest in knowing more about plant growth and wonder if I should wade thru the book I have on it or just try to memorize the published facts on habitat preferences etc. ???
That is fascinating about the petrified stumps. Reminds one that the climate on this planet has had some wild swings before man was here and if we manage not to blow it up, will have some wild swings when man is extinct.
Thanks again.
OH and do you know why striped maple is called 'moosewood'?
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2004, 05:12:36 AM »
mmm  moosewood.......its called that here too. Moose do like the browse it, but nothing is hit harder than willow. WIllow is essential for the developing young moose. I don't know exactly what it gets from it, but the provincial biologists seem to think so. I know its the most heavily browsed shrub on my woodlot. :)
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2004, 03:22:40 PM »
Well... that's kind of amazing 'cause moosewood is the only thing they haven't eaten on my land!!! They MUCH prefer red maple and some willow looking thing that I haven't looked up yet. They'll eat balsam before they eat moosewood. And somebody's been doin' some serious nibbling on the two poor little misshapen hemlocks I found.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2004, 03:44:43 PM »
Yes, I've seen moose hit Christmas tree plantions as well as white pine and tamarack. This is nomally in fall and winter months. I concur with you on red maple and willow. BTW, willow was what I refered to as heavily browsed. I think they like the large buds and leaves of striped maple too.

cheers
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2004, 04:25:10 PM »
They can have all the balsam they want but I'd prefer that they left the spruce alone (got too much balsam).
Maybe we could swap moose so's they'd get rid of some of the moosewood!!!
They eat plenty of white birch too. Don't seem to bother the yellow birch as much.
Found a couple of small ash today. Hope to find some bigger ones but not counting on it as lot has been high-graded more than once in the past.
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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2004, 04:25:34 PM »
Just some more facts or biology of wood.

The more latewood produced, the more dense the fibres, thus its strength is higher. The more latewood, thus increases wood quality. Latewood in red pine is much wider than that in white pine. Red pine is a 'hard pine'.

In trees there are two types of wood tissue:

1) meristem where cell division occurs
a) primary meristem - at the bud tips, responsible for elongatoin
b) secondary meristem - cambium, diameter growth

2) permanent tissue - the wood itself, consists of two types of cells
a) fusiform initials - wood cells, all longitudinal elements
b) ray initials - wood rays, all transverse elements

The cambium produces two types of cells.
a) perenchyma cells- meristematic,short, thin walled, used for storage
b) supporting and conducting cells - elongated, tubular, thick cell walls. Vessels are the only type of cells which are open on both ends.

Wood cannot dry below the freezing point. Capillary water is free water in wood and evaporates first. Bond water is held by the wood (hydrogen bonding).

Had to dig out Woody's lecture notes on this, been a while (14 yrs). ;D
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2004, 04:30:04 PM »
Why is it called 'latewood'? Late in season?
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2004, 04:34:54 PM »
latewood is produced after the rapid spring flush of growth
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2004, 04:50:33 PM »
So is it the species or climatic conditions that account for differing amounts of latewood? Or DOES it differ within an individual?
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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2004, 05:17:11 PM »
varies by species and climate/environment its growing in.  Not as much variability of species growing on the same site under same conditions. The tighter the growth rings the denser the wood and higher strength. But, if within that ring you have more latewood the stronger it is. Latewood is denser so if its the wider part of the growth ring it will contain more fibre than if the ring has more earlywood. If that makes scense. ;D
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Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2004, 06:34:34 PM »
Yes... that made sense. It is interesting to know.( Think I heard before about the strength but with different terms).I always try to buy wood with denser rings.. getting hard to find. I use alot of 1"x1" making frames for boat and camper interiors. Make them out of 4x4 doug fir. If the rings are too big ,it splits.
Wonder if there is a big difference in strenght if so, you'd think they'd grade for that or pay more for slow grown/high latewood trees.
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2004, 06:52:57 PM »
They do grade by species. For instance I can get more $$ out of a load of spruce sawlogs, then I can balsam fir. Balsam fir is faster growing than spruce. BUT, they won't pay me more for slower grown black spruce then faster growing white spruce.  ::)

Lumber is also graded based on strength in the application it will be used under.

Call up this link

http://64.233.161.104/search?q=cache:B1V6hjZfcHgJ:www.fpl.fs.fed.us/documnts/FPLGTR/fplgtr113/Ch06.pdf+grading+wood+latewood&hl=en
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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2004, 07:03:17 PM »
Yeah..that's what I meant. Someone told me that around here, they lump balsam and spruce together, at least at the stud mill. Is that true for you?
Thought I was pretty smart buying a predominately spruce/fir lot 1/2 mile from a stud mill. Two months later, the mill burned.
If it weren't for bad luck...........
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Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: Shrubs benificial in nutrient cycling
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2004, 07:06:40 PM »
They pay more for spruce studwood here also. They'll take mixed loads but your price drops.

check the previous thread with a pdf on grading
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