Liepiņš, K. 2007. First-year Height Growth of Silver Birch in Farmland depending on Container Stock Morphological Traits. Baltic Forestry 13 (1): 54-60

A trial was established to follow up the growth of silver birch container seedlings in the first year after planting out on abandoned farmland. Container seedlings were produced in the Rootrainer Sherwood container system (tray dimensions - 360 x 210 x 120 mm, cell volume 175 cm3, growing density 423 cells m-2). Simple linear regression was used to assess the first-year growth in height depending on the seedling initial morphological parameters. The low values of determination coefficients (0.033 - 0.147) indicated that a considerable proportion of variations in the growth could not be explained by seedlings morphology. The shoot : root and the diameter : height ratio of seedlings affected most significantly the growth in the first-year. Larger seedlings (higher values of shoot dry weight and shoot height) showed lower increment in height, indicating a higher transplanting stress. The experimental results are discussed in terms of raising the quality of birch container planting stock intended for farmland afforestation.

Key words: Betula pendula, afforestation, container seedlings, planting stock quality