Canadian Forest Service Publications
Extended nursery rearing compromises field performance of container-reared conifer seedlings. 2002. Salonius, P.O.; Hallett, R.D.; Beaton, K.P.; French, C. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Atlantic Forestry Centre, Fredericton, NB. Information Report M-X-214E. 21 p. (includes: Bibliography).
Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 20513
Availability: PDF (download)
Commercial nurseries often grow containerized conifer seedlings for extended periods to reach predetermined size and shoot:root ratio targets in order to enhance field survival. The consequences of this practice are addressed. White spruce (Picea glauca (Moench) Voss), red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.), and eastern white pine (Pinus strobus L.) were grown in three hardwall container types and three mesh-covered soil plug types. Seedlings were grown either (a) for a short period designed to produce sufficient rooting in hardwall plugs to facilitate extraction and handling or (b) for an extended growing period, designed to produce large seedlings with low shoot:root ratios. At the end of four growing seasons, the field growth of smaller seedlings from short-rearing regimes was consistently greater than field growth of seedlings from extended rearing regimes. Implications for nursery practice are discussed.