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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1977) 22(2): 283–296
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
The significance of planting height as an indictor of subsequent seedling growth

C.G.R. Chavasse

During a series of nursery trials, it was observed that, within any one treatment, height growth of seedlings appeared to be similar, irrespective of their initial height at planting. The measurements obtained from those trials are reported in detail. While growth of seedlings was markedly affected by age and by planting site, these factors had title effect on the relative growth of seedlings in relation to their initial height. For radiata pine there was little effect of initial height on subsequent height growth during the first two years after planting and limited data for Douglas fir seedlings gave similar results.
It is concluded that, in evaluating the quality of seedlings grown at uniform spacings in the nursery, height alone gives no indication of the ability of a seedling to grow away rapidly after outplanting in the forest. Thus, in general, culling on the basis of height alone is of little value; root collar diameter is undoubtedly a better measure of seedling quality.

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