Current issue: 53(3)
Under compilation: 53(4)
The many unsolved questions concerning fertilization makes it difficult to forecast accurately its biological and economic consequences. Some of the problems are discussed in this paper. The most common types of forests in Sweden, Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) and Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) H. Karst.) stands on well-drained mineral soil, respond strongly to nitrogenous fertilizers, but the effect of phosphate, potash or lime is small or nil, at least within 5–10 years after application. The response of nitrogen lasts 4–5 years in pine and somewhat more in spruce.
Drained peatlands usually respond to mineral fertilization, but the improvement brought about by a PK application depends, inter alia, on the nitrogen content of the peat. Peatlands with a peat low in nitrogen need NPK fertilization. For deep peatlands, a moderate or high nitrogen content, a single PK application improves growth conditions for a very long time. Experience of fertilizing shallow peatlands and poorly-drained mineral soil is very limited, but it seems easy to get a growth response either with nitrogen alone or with NPK.
The results of fertilization at the time of planting have not, as a rule, been very good in Sweden. An exception is the afforestation of abandoned fields on drained deep peat, where PK fertilizer around the plant seems to be essential for both survival and growth.