Fraser fir (Abies fraseri (Pursh.) Poir.) seedlings were either grown continuously under long days (16 hr) or intermittently exposed to short days (8 hr) to induce bud set followed by a chilling period. Additionally, half the seedlings in each treatment received a foliar application of 444 uM benzylaminopurine (BAP). Seedlings that were allowed to set buds, followed by chilling, obtained the greatest height, but this treatment in combination with BAP reduced seedling height. BAP applied to seedlings grown continuously under long days stimulated height growth and prevented long dormant periods typical for non-chilled seedlings. Continuously grown, BAP-treated seedlings had 1.3 times larger root collar diameter, and 1.7 times more biomass, compared to other treatments. Root/shoot ratios for continuously grown, BAP-treated seedlings were comparable to intermittently chilled, non-BAP treated seedlings. These results suggest that either intermittent short days followed by chilling, or foliar BAP applications can be used to accelerate growth of containerized Fraser fir seedlings. However, the combination of chilling and BAP resulted in poorer development than either treatment alone.

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Author notes

2Research Specialist.

3Associate Professor