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New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2007) 52(1): 14–23
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry

Research article
Impact of planting stock quality on initial growth and survival of radiata pine clones and modelling initial growth and survival

Rajesh K. Sharma , Euan G. Mason and Charles Sorensson

The effectiveness of several morphological characteristics of planting stock as indicators of field performance was assessed in an experiment established with ten radiata pine clones at Dalethorpe, Canterbury, New Zealand. Greater initial heights of three clones resulted in transplant stress. Sturdiness was the best predictor of survival in a plot level analysis and initial heights were the best predictors of survival during the first year after planting in a individual tree level analysis. Morphological differences between clones resulted in differences in survival up to age 4. Overall variability in height and diameter at breast height over bark at age 4 was more in clonal mixture plots compared to monoclonal plots. Greater variability in sizes of planting stock and dominance and suppression of clones in clonal mixture plots further enhanced the variability. Uniformity of raw materials, and risks of insect-pest and diseases were found to be important factors affecting decisions regarding choice between modes of deployment.

Keywords: Transplant stress; shoot: root ratio; root-fibrosity, sturdiness; survival, risks and deployment strategies

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