Irrigating and fertilizing to grow better nursery seedlings
In this paper we describe a system for producing excellent loblolly pine seedling for planting in southern forests. The system, which has taken years to develop, appears to be working well. Proof of that will depend upon results of outplanting tests, but there are strong indications that the seedlings we are producing will be better than those coming from most southern forest nurseries. One reason they will be better is because they are being graded to get rid of inferior individuals. Another reason is that top/root (T/R) ratios are near ideal. In our approach, irrigation and fertilizer applications are less generous. The seedlings that are produced have smaller tops, and do not require pruning. And because less fertilizer and water are applied, there is less possibility of polluting groundwater under the nursery.