Should I Plant Bareroot or Container? Yes!
After doing your homework and deciding on the best seedling genetics for your site, the next decision becomes whether to plant bareroot or container. Which stock type should you plant?
The answer is yes, and it depends. For most reforestation situations, bareroot seedlings will provide survival rates of around 88%. Planting with container seedlings can improve survival on droughty sites and may be planted early in the planting season (October/November) or late season planting (April/May) to improve survival. However, under typical conditions during the standard planting time window (December to March) bareroot seedlings will survive and grow equally well as container seedlings. Remember that after you thin your stand, you will leave only 125-150 crop trees, so either stock type will provide more than adequate survival for this target.
Planting containerized seedlings is not a substitute for good quality site preparation. Landowners should not use containerized seedlings to skimp on-site preparation, thinking that containerized seedlings will compensate for poor or no site prep. For example, failing to bed on wet soil or digging poor quality planting holes and planting containerized seedlings will likely not give as good of results as bedding and planting bareroot seedlings in terms of growth and survival because the limiting factor (excessive soil moisture and poor aeration of the root systems) has not been addressed.
Jon Barry, Assistant Professor with Arkansas Extension Service, put it as well as anyone can:
So, should you choose bareroot seedlings or containerized seedlings? Bareroot seedlings are usually the most economical choice. They will be your best choice if you can plant during the normal planting season, on a moderate to good site and with adequate competition control. If you must plant trees under conditions that are less than ideal, for example, before or after the normal planting season, on severe sites or when you need to minimize competition control, then you should consider containerized seedlings.
ArborGen offers both container and bareroot seedlings for almost all of our pine seedling products. If you need help deciding which planting stock type will work best for your situation and or what the cost differences will be between bareroot and container seedlings, contact one of our Reforestation Advisors and they can help you with that decision and get your seedling order placed.
Going, Going, But Not Quite Gone
Although most species are sold out, we still have a few available including Longleaf Pine and Piedmont Loblolly MCP.
It’s Never Too Early to Plan
It may seem a little early to start planning for the 2020 season when 2019 planting season has barely started. However, as many landowners have endured unusual and even devastating weather events in the last couple of years, reforestation professionals are anticipating increased demand for tree seedlings, especially in the southeast. With that may come a shortage in supply for those landowners who delay in making plans for reforesting in 2020.
The best seedling genetics are still available and right now, you can work with your forestry trained reforestation advisor to determine seedlings to meet your reforestation needs. At ArborGen, we have been meeting with landowners for a few weeks about their plans and goals, and already a large portion of our crop is committed. If you are a landowner, forestry consultant, or tree planter, secure your seedlings today to get the best families for your area or provenance.
Customer Success Story: Bielling Site Prep & Reforestation
“We have used ArborGen seedlings for years and have recommended the use of these seedlings to our customers/clients as well. The growth due to improved genetics and research is phenomenal. Equally important to us, is the expertise that is demonstrated at the nurseries in growing quality seedlings. The nursery managers, staff and reforestation advisors excel in exceeding our expectations.”
– Jimmy and Jesse Bielling,
Bielling Site Prep & Reforestation, Lake Butler, FL
Get in touch with a Reforestation Advisor to explore your options!
Paul Jeffreys, Ph.D.
Western Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi
North Carolina and Virginia
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Southern North Carolina, South Carolina
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Arkansas, Northern Louisiana, and Oklahoma
Director, U.S. Sales
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