The effects of fertilisers on the growth and composition of Sitka spruce.

  • S. McConaghy Northern Ireland Ministry of Agriculture.
Keywords: Fertilisers, tree growth, Sitka spruce, Picea sitchensis, nitrogen, phosphate, fertilisation, silviculture, soil nutrients.


A series of experiments was carried out to determine what affect the application of nutrients had on preventing check in Sitka spruce seedlings transplanted into peat. It was shown that the addition of nitrogen containing materials had little positive effect when placed around the planting holes, but bone meal containing both nitrogen and phosphate had a significant positive effect. The results of a separate experiment showed that trees had practically no growth in the absence of phosphate, and the application of nitrogen alone had a deleterious effect. It is concluded that phosphate is the most important factor limiting growth in the early years, and higher levels of phosphate than are normally supplied may be worthwhile. Also, the position of placement of phosphate, relative to young tree roots, must be carefully considered.
How to Cite
McConaghy, S. (1962) “The effects of fertilisers on the growth and composition of Sitka spruce.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 25June2022).