When Should I Plant???
Plant seedlings early for best survival and maximum first-year growth
The average planting season for loblolly pine bareroot seedlings runs from November to March (dormant season). The planting window for containerized seedlings can be a little longer on either side of that window if soil moisture conditions are right. ArborGen customers plant seedlings throughout this window with most planting in January and February while 17 percent plant in November and December, and 18 percent have planted in March and April.
Phillip Wakely (US Forest Service author of Planting the Southern Pines, 1954) recommended: “Throughout most of the lower South, the optimum planting season extends from about December 1 to March 1.” (Figure 2). These results have been repeated many times over the years by other scientists since this foundational research was published. So why does planting earlier improve survival and growth?
Planting your bareroot seedlings early (December to February) gives the seedling plenty of time to grow new roots and get established prior to the onset of new top growth in the spring. A bareroot pine seedling takes from 4 to 6 weeks to start growing new roots after transplanting. Trees planted in December to mid-February have plenty of time to grow new roots before spring flush. Later planting may not provide seedlings the time they need to develop new roots before the shoots start growing and temperatures increase. No new roots mean poor water and nutrient uptake and seedling dieback or mortality as the stresses of summer heat and dry periods arrive.
So to ensure good survival and the best possible first-year growth for your new seedlings, start planning now to get your seedlings properly planted from December to February. Make sure your mechanical and chemical site prep is done well in advance to give beds time to settle and time for site prep chemicals to do their job. Call your tree planter or consultant and let them know you want to plant your seedlings early so they can get the crews lined up to be on your site as soon as possible.
Avoid planting in March if possible, but if you must, take extra care in seedling refrigeration, handling, and planting operations. If you have questions about planting timing, contact your ArborGen Reforestation Advisor. If you wish to schedule your seedling pickup or delivery, contact your local ArborGen Nursery.
Seedling Survival Impacted by Practices in Outplanting
One of the main objectives of a nursery manager is to ensure the production of high-quality tree seedlings that can reach their genetic potential once outplanted. A high-quality seedling is one that has the ability to survive environmental stress and produce vigorous growth once outplanted. Unfortunately, no single seedling characteristic can determine seedling quality in forest-tree nurseries. A combination of characteristics such as height, root collar diameter, plant nutrition, seedling health, root size, and crown symmetry are used. Together, these seedling characteristics help forest nursery managers determine the potential ability of the seedling to establish itself and survive once outplanted.
Success: Plant All Seedlings Early
Source: The Ten Commandments for Successful Seedling Regeneration,
Tom Starkey, Ph.D.Nursery & Regeneration Consultant, Opelika, AL
Customer Success Story: Steven Peter
New Reforestation Advisor: Kylie Burdette
We are happy to announce that Kylie Burdette has joined the ArborGen team as a Reforestation Advisor for the South Carolina area. Kylie will be working with Jason Watson in the next week as he transitions to his new position as Project Leader, Genetic Evaluation with Product Development. Kylie will be responsible for the selling of advanced genetic products, key customer segments, and growing market share in her territory.
Kylie comes to us from Milliken Forestry Company where she held the position of forester with specialization in timber inventory management and forest certification. She is also an experienced GIS analyst and a certified unmanned aircraft pilot. Kylie earned a B.S. in Forest Resources Management and a Masters in Forest Resources at Clemson University.
Important Notice: ArborGen’s New Seedling Order Policy
Don’t forget the November 30th deadline of ArborGen’s new seedling order policy!
Earlier this year we notified our customers of a new policy concerning canceling or reducing seedling orders. ArborGen listened to our customers’ concerns and moved the deadline an additional month to November 30th with no penalty for changes in your seedling orders. We made this change so that our customers will have more time to accurately determine the number of seedlings needed for the planting season. Please check your seedling order for accuracy and contact your Reforestation Advisor or nursery to make any changes needed. Customers will be responsible for the entire order commitment past the November 30th deadline.
CUSTOMER OBLIGATIONS FOR ORDER REDUCTIONS AND CANCELLATIONS
Until November 30th of the current order year, the Customer may reduce or terminate an order by giving ArborGen Written Notice of the desire to reduce or cancel the order. Order cancellations or reductions after November 30th and until the end of the current year will result in ArborGen invoicing the Customer for 50% of the value of the order reduction.
After January 1, orders may not be reduced or canceled and the customer shall be responsible for full payment to ArborGen. Following an order cancellation or reduction made after November 30, if the Customer places a new order, a full or partial credit, depending on the value of the new order, shall be paid to the customer less an administrative fee of 10% of the canceled or reduced order dollar value.
Get in touch with a Reforestation Advisor to explore your options!
Paul Jeffreys, Ph.D.
Western Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi
Geoffrey Lee Hill
Georgia, Virginia, Eastern Tennessee, Northern North Carolina
Eastern Texas, Southern Louisiana
Senior Business Specialist, Texas
Southern North Carolina, South Carolina
Florida Gulf Coast, South Alabama, Southwest Georgia
Arkansas, Northern Louisiana, and Oklahoma
Manager, Reforestation Advisors