Järvis, J.*, Ivask, M., Nei, L., Kuu, A. and Luud, A. 2016. Effect of Green Waste Compost Application on Afforestation Success. Baltic Forestry 22(1): 90-97.

   The impact of soil amelioration with green waste compost in the afforestation of depleted peat fields and sand pits was studied. Drilled planting holes (50cm deep, 20cm in diameter, 15.7 litres in volume) were filled with fertile compost soil. Containerized yearling seedlings of Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn., Betula pendula Roth and Populus tremula (L.) × P. tremuloides Mischx. or bare-rooted ones of Alnus incana (L.) Moench were planted into the compost-filled planting holes (test seedlings) and control seedlings into untreated soil. The test growth period lasted for three consecutive growing seasons in 2012–2014.

   Compost increased significantly the total three-year height growth of the test seedlings compared to the control ones on the depleted peat mine test site in all four species studied. A significant increase in the total three-year height growth of the test seedlings compared to control ones was also observed in black alder on the sandy loam and sand test sites. A high mortality rate was observed on the sand test site among control seedlings of black alder and among silver birch and hybrid aspen, both test and control seedlings. An irrigation test on sandy loam test site (2014) gave significantly improved height growth to the tested black alder seedlings.

Keywords: green waste compost; compost application; planting seedlings; planting site; height growth; soil aeration; water retention.