U.S. Department of Agriculture
Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum (L.) Rich.) seed was collected in 1992 from nine different estuarine areas in the southeastern United States (Winyah Bay, SC, Ogeechee and Altmaha Rivers in GA, Loftin Creek, FL, Ochlockonee River FL, Mobile Bay, AL, West Pearl River, LA, Bayou LaBranche, LA, and Lake Chicot, LA) and planted in Clemson University's Hobcaw nursery in the spring of 1993. Germination ranged from a low of 16 percent for seed from FL to 58 percent for seed from NC. Seedlings were grown in the nursery for two growing seasons, lifted, and planted in an area killed by saltwater introduced by Hurricane Hugo's (1989) storm surge. Half of the seedlings were protected with tree shelters. Seedlings averaged 122 cm tall upon planting. Survival after 6 years was 99 percent. Height growth of seedlings in tree shelters was significantly higher than those not in tree shelters for each year except during year 3. Among the seed sources, seedlings from the Loftin Creek, FL source have shown greatest growth, with and without protection, for all growing seasons except the first year. After 6 years, average height of tree-shelter protected seedlings was 393 cm while the average height of non-protected seedlings was 281 cm. Tree-shelters increased early growth of seedlings, but once they emerged from the tree-shelter, growth differences between shelter and no-shelter treatments decreased and seems to be more related to the degree of deer herbivory experienced by unprotected seedlings.
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