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October, 2015

The effect of nursery management on early forest productivity

How much of the initial performance of seedlings is determined by their state when leaving the nursery gate? Scion has established a new trial series to explore this issue, and needs your help to expand further.

Growing Confidence in Forestry’s Future (GCFF) Research Programme

In recent years, the Scion seedling nursery research programme has examined the impacts of chemical use and beneficial mycorrhizal fungi in the nursery on the early performance of newly planted stands. The results of this initial work have led to the establishment of five new trials around New Zealand, focusing on options to reduce fungicide and fertiliser use in the nursery while maintaining good field performance through the use of soil microbes.

The long term goal of this work is establishing the importance of forest site conditions to nursery management – basically, developing the ability to raise seedlings to best suit the area they will be planted in.

To achieve this, the next phase of the nursery research programme will involve the establishment of small trials, each containing around 180 seedlings, at many sites across New Zealand in 2016. This work will focus on assessing the importance of site properties on the health and growth of seedlings that have experienced different treatments in the nursery, and identifying which nursery treatments provide the best results in different circumstances.

If you are interested in hosting one of these trials, or simply wish to know more about this work, please contact

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