Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design


Forest Resource Management

Committee Chair

Jamie L Schuler

Committee Co-Chair

Shawn T Grushecky

Committee Member

Skousen G Jeffrey


Shrub willow (Salix spp.) has been a focus of international efforts to develop renewable alternatives for fossil fuels and to sequester carbon from earth's atmosphere. One area of interest has been to plant and cultivate willow on reclaimed mine lands. West Virginia's coalfields provide significant land area for incorporating willow cultivation into reclamation. The objective of this study was to develop silvicultural treatments to overcome the most common properties of mine soils in Appalachia: high rock fragment content that often causes difficult planting, reduced nutrient availability, and low water-holding capacity. Cuttings of three shrub willow clones were planted with six planting/fertilizer treatments. The planting treatments compared a horizontal planting method that was more efficient than digging full depth holes into compacted and rocky mine soils to traditional vertical planting of cuttings. Fertilizer treatments compared no fertilization to controlled release and traditional fertilizer at a rate of 140 kg N ha -1. Following two growing seasons, clones clearly differed in survival and production but the influence of fertilizer treatments was inconsistent Survival and growth were lower for horizontally-planted cuttings relative to vertically planted cuttings. Response to fertilizer varied by clone. Results of this study will be used to direct future establishment practices for willow on reclaimed mine soils in West Virginia.