Effects of Papermill Sludge Ash and Wood Ash on Red Pine Growth and Raspberry Biomass Production in Western Maine
- Malitz, Christina L.
University of Maine, Orono, Forestry
Maine's papermill and electricity generating facilities generate-1.2 million tons of processing residues a year. The by-products generated are frequently treated as municipal waste and landfilled. A study was initiated in 1992 to determine the biological effects of papermill sludge ash and wood ash application to forest land in western Maine. Four treatment amounts of papermill sludge ash- 0, 3, 6, and 9 tons/acre CaCo3 equivalent, and four treatment amounts of wood ash- 0, 3, 6, and 9 tons/acre CaCo3 equivalent were each applied to 24 plots in a newly established red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) plantation. The red pine study trees were measured for total tree height and root collar diameter at the time of application, one and two years after residues were applied. The amount of competing vegetation was measured by taking above ground biomass samples within two 1/4 milacre plots within each treatment plot, and element concentration status of the predominant vegetation, Rubus spp., was obtained.
Analysis of raspberry foliage revealed no significant change in elemental status at any level of sludge ash application. Wood ash amended plots showed significantly lower levels of Mn and Al concentrations (P<0.05), and increased levels of B, K and p at higher application rates than control plots.
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