Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists develop sustainable, environmentally friendly potting medium

06.08.2010
A new type of sustainable and environmentally friendly potting medium made from thinned pine trees has been created by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and their university cooperators.

Nursery plants are now grown in containers filled with soil-less potting medium, formally called substrate, consisting of Canadian peat moss, perlite, vermiculite and pine bark. But obtaining these materials can be costly and time-consuming, due to required energy inputs and availability.

WholeTree is a new material that can be used alone or mixed with other materials to make substrate. It was created by horticulturist Glenn Fain, formerly with USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) at the ARS Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory in Poplarville, Miss., and Charles Gilliam, a professor with Auburn University. They collaborated with research leader James Spiers and horticulturalist Anthony Witcher at the ARS Poplarville laboratory, and with Greg Young, owner of Young's Plant Farm in Auburn, Ala. ARS is the chief intramural scientific research agency of USDA.

As its name suggests, WholeTree is made from all parts of a tree, in particular the southern pine tree (Pinus taeda). But the trees aren't cut down in natural forests. Instead, the trees used to make WholeTree are harvested from tree plantations at the thinning stage, when some trees are removed to achieve a density the site can support. Once processed, WholeTree can be used as an alternative substrate.

Similar products have been available in Europe for several years, but WholeTree could be one of the first available U.S. products made from locally grown materials. According to Fain, who is now an assistant professor at Auburn University, field and laboratory studies have demonstrated the successful use of WholeTree, even at 100 percent for some nursery plants.

The scientists are further researching WholeTree's suitability for use in cutting and seedling propagation of herbaceous perennial and woody ornamental crops. So far, they have conducted tests on plants popular to the ornamental and landscaping industries.

Read more about this research in the August 2010 issue of Agricultural Research magazine.

USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice), or (202) 720-6382 (TDD).

Stephanie Yao | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ars.usda.gov

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>