The Hatch Project, an experimental study installed in southern Indiana in 2002, examined the performance of first-year seedlings in seedling plantations and identified morphological attributes that best predict plantation establishment success. Initial height and diameter of seedlings were the most reliable predictors of field height and stem diameter, although correlations were low. Height was also the best predictor of stem diameter, and the ratio of initial height to diameter was the most reliable indicator of field performance.
Annual field measurements were carried out in September/October to assess the survival of seedlings. The study area was 900 m2 (30 m x 30 m). Measurements of the growth of seedlings included the diameter of the stem base, their total height, and annual increments. In addition, annual counts of live and dead seedlings were conducted to determine the survival rate of planted seedlings. The survival rate of seedlings in each plantation was calculated using a linear mixed-effects model.
The survival rate of seedlings was the best when half-moon or standard plantation planting techniques were used. For S. gourmaensis, half-moon planting produced higher height and collar diameter than standard plantation planting. In addition, S. dudgeonii grew faster in half-moon plantation. This suggests that the difference in plantation technique may be due to differences in soil moisture.
Amhara Regional State Bureau of Agriculture is planning to mobilize the public for seedling plantation and vegetable farming during the rainy season. The regional bureau of agriculture has been undertaking soil and water conservation tasks across 325 thousand hectares of land. The task is estimated to cost 3 billion birr and will benefit about a half million people in the region. In the two months, the regional bureau is planning to finalize all the activities and supply the seedlings.
The initial costs of establishing a seedling plantation are relatively low and can be funded through a number of different methods, including government grants, free seeds, and local forest extension agents. In exchange for publicity, local nurseries may contribute seedlings to the project. Often, these local nurseries will also offer a discount for purchasing in bulk. Regardless of the method chosen, there are some important aspects to consider in the seedling plantation process.
The first step in the establishment of a seedling plantation is to determine the site and soil type. In southern Indiana, the researchers used standard or low-nursery density bareroot seedlings as well as 11.4 and 18.9-L container-grown seedlings. In both environments, the two-year survival rate was lower, and the diameter of the seedlings was significantly greater for container seedlings than bareroot seedlings. Moreover, gaps that were not harvested during the study time were less likely to be harvested.
The quality of hardwood seedlings has the potential to improve reforestation success and increase forest productivity in the Central Hardwood Region. Experiments on seedling quality will provide tangible prescriptions for foresters, nurseries, and Midwest forestry organizations. These experiments will also provide insights into the nutritional response of the seedlings to controlled-release fertilization during outplanting. So, what are the main benefits of seedling plantation?