Sitka spruce in the 21st century: Establishment and nutrition.

  • Richard Schaible Research Officer, Forest Service, Department of Agriculture for Northern Ireland.
Keywords: Ground preparation, site degradation, fertilisers, Sitka spruce, natural regeneration, productivity, nutrient deficiencies, silviculture, mechanical ground preparation, Picea sitchensis.


Historically, new plantations of Sitka spruce were established on a wide range of soil types in the British Isles by providing a raised or otherwise weed-free planting position, using manual or mechanical techniques. Some of the benefits of mechanical ground preparation can be achieved using herbicides. The application to second rotation sites of the results of research and development of mechanical ground preparation methods for afforestation is speculative. Inputs of phosphatic and nitrogenous fertilisers have been necessary on most upland sites. Strategies are available to reduce N fertiliser requirements. Productivity may decline with successive rotations on some sites due to site degradation, but is likely to be increased on others due to improved establishment methods.
How to Cite
Schaible, R. (1992) “Sitka spruce in the 21st century: Establishment and nutrition.”, Irish Forestry. Available at: (Accessed: 27November2022).