Temperate Silvopasture Tree Establishment and Growth as Influenced by Forage Species and Cultural Management Practices

  •  James Houx III    
  •  Robert McGraw    
  •  H. E. Gene Garrett    
  •  Robert Kallenbach    
  •  Felix Fritschi    
  •  Michael A. Gold    


Tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum (Schreb.) Darbysh.) is known to inhibit tree growth. Competition for moisture and nutrients, and possibly allelopathy are suspected. This study examined if tall fescue inhibits tree growth more than two other cool-season forages, if tree growth differences are attributed to forage yield or tall fescue’s endophyte, and if irrigation and fertilizer can alleviate forage inhibition of tree growth. Four silvopasture tree species were planted into sods of three cool season forage species and grown four years with and without irrigation and fertilizer. Differences in tree growth did not correspond with forage dry matter yield or tall fescue endophyte status. Black walnut and red oak height and diameter growth and pitch x loblolly pine diameter growth were greater in Kentucky bluegrass and orchardgrass compared to the forage tall fescues [Ky-31 (E+), Ky-31 (E-), and Max-Q]. Irrigation and/or fertilizer did not alleviate forage competition on two tree species.

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