Forest Nursery – Introduction to Nursery and Objective of Nursery
The need for forest nurseries emphasizes an important difference between agriculture and forestry. The farmer sowing the seeds where his crop is to grow. The forester in most cases slows seeds and raises seedlings in a nursery and then plants them on land to be afforested. There are two reasons for this
1) Newly germinated seedlings of most tree species fell in competition with the plants and it is impractical to give each tiny seedlings 3 or 4 m. apart in a plantation, the care needed for survival. Therefore, seedlings are raised together free of any competition until they are sturdy enough for planting out.
2) Only in a nursery can the forester afford to provide growing condition to raised healthy vigorous plants. Mainly for reasons of economic, the forest planting sites receives a minimum of soil preparation, fertilizing and maintenance.
Nursery is defined as an area where plants are raised for eventual planting out. It comprises of nursery beds, paths irrigated channels etc. Nursery bed is defined as a prepared area in a nursery where seed is sown or into which seedlings or cuttings are raised. On the bases of kind of plants growing in them nursery beds are classified into seedling beds and transplant beds, seedlings, beds are those nursery beds in which seedlings are raised either for, transplanting in other beds or for planting out. A nursery which has only seedling beds i.e. in which seedlings are only raised, for transplanting is called seedlings nursery. Transplant beds are those nursery beds in which seedlings raised in seedling beds are transplanted before planting out in forest. A nursery that has only transplant beds i.e. in which seedlings are transplanted in preparation for forest planting is called transplant nursery. In India separate seedling and transplant nurseries are seldom made in the same nursery. Generally whatever is grown in nursery for planting out is called Nursery stock.
Objectives of Nursery:
It occupies an important place in artificial regeneration. The following objects for which nursery is generally made, clearly bring out its importance.
1. Some important species do not seed ever year. Plantations of these species can be raised annually, only by sowing all available seeds in nursery to raise seedlings to be planted out various years.
2. Some species grow very slowly and if the seeds of these species are sown directly in plantation, the seedlings are most likely to-be suppressed by weeds and ultimately killed. Therefore, slow growing spices are generally raised in nursery and planted out, only when the seedlings are not liable to be damaged by weeds.
3. Success of road side avenue plantations depends largely on planting tall and sturdy plants which can be only obtained from nursery.
4. Plantations of some species, when raised by direct sowing are not so successful when raised by transplanting their seedlings. In such cases, nursery is an essential part of artificial regeneration to these species.
5. The best method for introduction of exotics, tropical Pines, Poplars Eucalyptus etc. is only by, planting and therefore nursery is very essential for them.
6. Planting of nursery grown plants is the surest method of artificial regeneration on poor and barren sites.
6. Causalities in plantations have to be replaced either for the year of planting or in the next year. Sowing done in the gaps is liable to be unsuccessful as a result of suppression from weeds and cannot catch up the growth as from, original sowing. Therefore, replacement of causalities is always done by planting nursery grown plants or stumps and so nursery is very essential for causality replacement also.