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A Trial of Plug Transplant Seedling Production in the Southwest

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Plug transplants were developed in the Pacific Northwest as a way to accelerate nursery production and increase root system fibrousness of barefoot seedlings, and the practice has been spreading to other areas. This paper describes a trial of its use in a do: Southwestern area. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum Engelm.) seed was sown in February in small containers, transplanted to outdoor nursery beds at Albuquerque NM in May, lifted the following February, and outplanted as plug+1 stock in April. Survival was as good (76 and 71%) and growth better (232 vs. 209 mm) than standard 2+0 stock after 3 yr. A similar regime for Engelmann spruce (Picea engelmannii (Parry) Engelm.) produced seedlings that survived and grew well (survival 86 and 94%, height growth 54 and 56 mm for plug+2 and standard stock, respectively), but they required 2 yr in the nursery bed (plug+2) to reach adequate size for transplanting, which negated the advantage of reduced production time. West. J. Appl. For. 11(3):81-84.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Exp. Stn., 2500 So. Pine Knoll Dr., Flagstaff AZ 86001

Publication date: 1996-07-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Western Journal of Applied Forestry covers the western United States, including Alaska, and western Canada; WJAF will also consider manuscripts reporting research in northern Mexico that has potential application in the southwestern United States.
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