Document


Title

Is fall burning preferable to spring burning for promoting growth characteristics favorable for mechanical harvesting in Vaccinium myrtilloides Michaux?
Document Type: Journal
Author(s): S. P. Vander Kloet ; J. Pither
Publication Year: 2000

Cataloging Information

Keyword(s):
agriculture; barrens; branching; Canada; croplands; fire management; lowbush blueberry; lowbush blueberry; Nova Scotia; plant growth; range management; season of fire; size classes; stem length; Vaccinium myrsinites; yield
Region(s):
International
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 50448
Tall Timbers Record Number: 27051
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Not in File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.

Description

Periodic prescribed burns of lowbush blueberry barrens promote high yield, aid in weed control, and reduce fungal and insect damage. Whether such prescribed fires should be set in the autumn or the spring has been a matter of some dispute. Previous research on Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton suggested some advantages to autumnal burning, but few data have been collected on V. myrtilloides Michaux. To evaluate whether time of burning affected plant qualities most favorable for mechanical harvesting, such as stem length and lateral branching, a series of experiments was conducted on V. myrtilloides. Differences in stem length, numbers of lateral branches, and buds per stem were nonsignificant among plants burned in fall vs. those burned in spring. In three of four experiments, however, fall burns resulted in the growth of fewer lateral branches. Furthermore, among the four experiments, growth responses were more uniform following fall than following spring burns. We therefore suggest that, where possible, fall burns should be prescribed for blueberry plants that will be mechanically harvested.

Citation:
Vander Kloet, S. P., and J. Pither. 2000. Is fall burning preferable to spring burning for promoting growth characteristics favorable for mechanical harvesting in Vaccinium myrtilloides Michaux? HortScience, v. 35, no. 4, p. 608-610.