Clipping needles of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) prior to transplanting has been shown to increase seedling survival but the mechanism for this effect is not well documented. A greenhouse trial was conducted to examine the effect of clipping needles on transpiration, root-growth potential (RGP) and seedling survival. Clipping longleaf pine needles to a length of 5 cm reduced transpiration and reduced RGP but it increased seedling survival by 34% points. Clipping to a length of 15 cm had an intermediate effect on these variables. The results support the common practice of clipping needles in the nursery.
Key words: Nursery, container, reforestation, seedling quality.
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