Initiator Tree Tablet Screening Trial with Pinus radiata in the Green Triangle Region

Aims

  • To investigate the effectiveness of the Initiator Tree Tablet in reducing the impact of insect attack, in particular wingless grasshoppers, on radiata pine seedlings and cuttings during the first year following planting.
  • To establish if there is, as claimed by the manufacturer, an economic increase in either growth or planting stock survival from using Initiator Tree Tablets as a nutrition supplement at planting.

Conclusions

  • At planting plus 16 months there was no statistical significant difference in total stem volume production (m3/ha) or mean tree height growth between the plots treated with the Initiator Tree Tablet and the Nil control plots.
  • No phytotoxic impacts on tree health, form or growth were recorded as a result of the use of the Initiator Tree Tablet.
  • No evidence of insect attack was recorded at either site during the life of the trial so no assessment on the effectiveness of the Initiator Tree Tablets impact on insect control can be made.

Recommendations

Due to the cost of purchase and the lack of any economic growth response the use of the Initiator Tree Tablet for plantation establishment with radiata pine is not recommended.