Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Various physical and chemical analyses were conducted on southern pine bark. The results from these analyses were then examined in terms of their effect on the interpretation of substrate fertility. The drainage aeration and water holding capacity of pine bark was found to be suitable for use as a container medium. Also the determination of the pH, CEC, and "available" nutrient content of pine bark indicated acceptable levels for plant growth. However, all values were dependent on the method of analysis. In general, it was concluded that a complex relationship exists between the physical and chemical properties of pine bark. Therefore, substrate fertility must be evaluated in terms of this interaction. Foliar analysis was conducted on Euphorbia pulcherrima Willd. cv 'Annette Hegg Dark Red' grown on a constant fertilization program. The elemental content of the bark growing medium from these plants was assessed by three modified analytical methods. Probable optimum values were then determined for each of the three methods based on plant uptake. These estimated nutrient levels varied according to the type of analytical system used. In general, exchange extractants yielded greater values than bulk solution extractants. However, each were effectively related to plant growth.