Nutritional disorders in Sitka spruce in the Republic of Ireland.

  • M.L. Carey Research branch, forest and Wildlife Service, Dublin.
Keywords: Nutritional disorders, mineral soils, nutrient deficiency, Sitka spruce, nurse species, site cultivation, silviculture, Picea sitchensis.


The main nutritional problems that are encountered in growing Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis Bong. Carr.) are associated with the three major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. In general the species can be successfully established on a range of site types, from the oligotrophic peats of the West (blanket bogs) and Midlands (raised bogs) to the podsolised soils derived from Old Red Sandstone in the south of the country, providing phosphorous is applied at planting. The present recommendation (0 Carroll, 1975), is to broadcast 500 kg/ha of rock phosphate, supplying 72.5 kg of P/ha, on land which, prior to afforestation, was unenclosed and was never used for intensive agriculture. On land which had been used in the past for agricultural cropping, but which had deteriorated somewhat in fertility due to being abandoned for a number of decades or to some other cause, the recommended rate of application is reduced to 250 kg of rock phosphate per hectare (36 kg P/ha). Such sites frequently carry a vegetation dominated by Ulex or Pteridium. On areas where agricultural cropping has been abandoned only in recent years, phosphate application is not considered necessary. A further series of experiments has recently been established across a wide range of sites in order to refine these prescriptions...
How to Cite
Carey, M. (1977). Nutritional disorders in Sitka spruce in the Republic of Ireland. Irish Forestry. Retrieved from
Conference Papers