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Effects of Cutting Phenology (Non-dormant Versus Dormant) on Early Growth Performance of Three Willow Clones Grown Under Different Weed Treatments and Planting Dates
- Welc, Monika, Lundkvist, Anneli, Verwijst, Theo
- BioEnergy research 2017 v.10 no.4 pp. 1094-1104
- aboveground biomass, biomass production, clones, cold storage, crop-weed competition, cutting, growth performance, models, phenology, planting date, spring barley, sprouting, tree growth, weed control, willows, Sweden
- To assess the effects of cutting phenology on early growth performance of three willow clones grown under different weed treatments and planting dates, freshly harvested (non-dormant) and cold-stored (dormant) cuttings from willow clone Tora, Jorr, and Olof were planted in bucket experiment outdoors in central Sweden on five planting dates (May–June 2013) with or without a model weed (spring barley). Non-dormant cuttings sprouted faster than dormant cuttings when planted early in the season. For cuttings planted later in the season, bud sprouting was affected only by willow clone. Aboveground biomass production was affected by cutting phenology, planting date, clone, and weed treatment. When planted on May 3 and May 10, biomass produced from non-dormant and dormant cuttings did not differ, while willows grown from dormant cuttings produced 59% more aboveground biomass than willows grown from non-dormant cuttings when planted on May 24–June 16. Tora produced on average 12% more biomass than Jorr and Olof, and weed competition reduced aboveground biomass production on average with 36%. The ability of willow to suppress weeds (WSA) was 26 (non-dormant cuttings) and 12% (dormant cuttings) higher for willows planted on May 3 compared with WSA of willows grown from cuttings planted later in the season. The ability to tolerate competition from weeds (WT) was 51 and 52% lower for willows grown from non-dormant and dormant cuttings planted late in the season compared with WT of willows planted earlier in the season. We conclude that planting with long-term cold storage of willow cuttings can be replaced with planting freshly harvested cuttings when planting is performed in early season, and that weed competition strongly reduces biomass production. Weed control during the establishment phase is crucial in order to maximize willow biomass production.