Planting trees and sowing seeds
The most common method of establishing trees
and shrubs is by planting young potted seedlings into a well
prepared soil. However, there are other options
It is common practice for pines and deciduous
trees to be grown in open nursery beds then transplanted as
open rooted stock. This not only eliminates the need for pots
but also makes handling and transporting large numbers of
trees very easy.
Alternatively, trees and shrubs can be
direct sown or planted as cuttings directly into the soil.
The choice of method depends on many factors not the least
being the cost, the availability of the desired genetic material,
and the purpose of the planting.
Open rooted trees
Open rooted seedlings and cuttings have
been used in both plantation forestry and ornamental plantings
for many years. The trees are grown in nursery beds over the
summer months (in temperate areas) and their roots pruned
regularly during the growing season. The trees are then lifted
in winter for planting.
Conifers need to be planted within a few days
of lifting whereas deciduous trees can be held for much of
the winter as long as their roots are kept moist. Eucalypts
and other natives have been grown in the same way although
the trend for these species is to grow them in small pots.
Trees in pots
Pots, tubes and trays of fused small pots
are the most common method of growing most native trees. Whilst
large pots have the advantage of containing more soil they
are cumbersome and expensive. Experience suggests that for
most species, planting small seedlings (15 to 30cm) is best
for early growth and survival. Along with obvious cost savings
this has seen the increased use of trays containing as many
as 64 small pots. The small seedlings can be carefully pulled
from the tray and planted using a number of simple planting
Larger seedlings may be warranted where there
is a risk of flooding or sand movement damaging small plants.
Larger pots or tubes allow the farmer to more easily care
for the trees while waiting for the right time to plant.
For more than 100 years farmers have been
direct seeding native trees. There are now many different
types of seeding machines specially designed for different
soil types. In light sandy soils they generally scrape away
a thin layer of top soil and sow the seed in a channel. In
heavier soils where water is likely to flow along a channel,
sowing onto moldboard-ploughed ground has worked well. The
major concern is the control of grass and weed competition.
Once established it may be necessary to thin out or in-fill
to ensure the right spacing.
Site preparation for
Watering and irrigation
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