Early growth performances of various seed sources of black (Prunus serotina Erhr.) and wild cherry (Prunus avium L.) seedlings on low and high elevation sites in the western Black Sea Region of Turkey
The growth performances of one-year old seedlings of various black cherry (BC) and wild cherry (WC) seed sources (SSs) that were planted on low elevation sites (LES) and high elevation sites (HES) in the western Black Sea Region (BSR) of Turkey were assessed one and five years after planting (YAP). Significance between and within-species variations were found for seedling growth. On species basis, WC was superior to BC for seedling groundline diameter and height growth for the low elevation sites
(LES) of one and five years after planting (YAP), whereas no substantial survival and growth differences were found between the species for the high elevation sites (HES) of five YAP. Generally, seedlings averaged a greater survival on the LES, when compared with those on the HES. Local WC SSs (Tefen, Yayla and Dirgine) demonstrated an enhanced seedling survival and growth on LES than the other SSs. Unlike the LES results, a collection of BC (Michigan 1 and Ukraine) and WC SSs (Dirgine, Germany, and Tefen) displayed the best seedling growth over five years. The HES seedlings frequently experienced diebacks and forking due to heavy snow fall and wildlife browsing. Selection of the local WC SSs was vital for the LES. However, BC SSs may present a potential for planting on the HES with harsher environmental conditions.
Keywords: Black cherry, provenance test, seedling growth and survival, wild cherry.