Hardwood seedling production presents several challenges that differ considerably from pine seedling production. Because of a nearly double water requirement, hardwoods need to be planted where they can be irrigated separately from pines. Nutrient requirements are generally higher for hardwoods, including especially nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), and magnesium (Mg). Other nutrients are required in a slightly higher level. The form of N is very important. Sources of N that are “reduced,” including ammonium and urea, are used efficiently. “Oxidized” forms, including mostly nitrate, are used less well. Requirements are usually described as how many pounds per acre of fertilizers are required. However, because the seedbed density for hardwoods is lower than that for pines, the cost of production per seedling is especially high.
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