Thursday, April 30, 2015

IFA Nursery

Date of the visit: April 29, 2015 
Type of event: Field trip
Topic learned: The process from seed to seedling of conifers
Company visited: IFA Nurseries  
Location: Aurora and Canby, Oregon
Host: Mike Taylor, Manager at Aurora and Canby IFA Nurseries
International Fellows: Stuty Maskey (Nepal), Sarita Lama (Nepal), Miguel Sanchez (Bolivia)
WFI Staff: Shadia Duery / International Fellowship Manager, and Rick Zenn / Senior Fellow

This field trip featured a large scale forest nursery, one of the largest on the West Coast (35 million trees per year). We visited two of their six facilities, in Aurora and Canby Oregon. The Aurora facility specializes in greenhouse container seedling production, and the one in Canby in bare root seedling production. The Canby facility also has a seed processing plant. Seeds are brought from the field in cones,  processed through the plant, until 99.9 % purity is obtained. Than the seed can be stored at 0 C for decades. Take home messages:
  • Root development is one of the most important characteristics in a seedling
  • In greenhouse seedling production humidity has to be controlled to avoid fungus
  • In a bare root seedling production well drained sandy soils are a great attribute
  • The final process before the plant is sent to its final destination is conditioning, a process were the seedlings are stressed by periods of drought