Birch seedlings can be grown to plantable size in one year using cloches in the nursery.

  • Conor O'Reilly School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
  • Colin Doody School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
  • Ned Morrissey Coillte, Ballintemple Nursery, Ardattin, Co. Carlow, Ireland.
  • Nesrin Özbingöl School of Biology and Environmental Science, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
  • Dermot O'Leary Coillte, Ballintemple Nursery, Ardattin, Co. Carlow, Ireland.
  • Barbara Thompson Coillte, Ballintemple Nursery, Ardattin, Co. Carlow, Ireland.
Keywords: Germination, seed dormancy, seedling density, morphology, plant quality.

Abstract

Seedbed covers were evaluated to determine if they could be used in the nursery to grow birch (Betula pubescens Ehrh.) seedlings to plantable size in one growing season. The effects of four different seedbed covers (a spun-bonded polyester fabric cloche, a non-perforated cloche, a perforated clear polythene cloche, and a 'floating' polythene mulch) on seed germination of birch after sowing in March, April and June and on subsequent seedling growth were investigated. Seedbed cover type had no consistent effect on germination, suggesting that all provided favourable conditions for germination. Bed cover type also had no significant effect on seedling density at the end of the growing season, suggesting that plant survival was not influenced by cloche type. However, up to 53% of the seedlings reached target size dimensions (>40 cm tall and 4 mm diameter) under the perforated cloche, compared with a maximum of 35% under the fleece cloche, suggesting that the use of the perforated cloche might be economically viable in the nursery. Germination was better for seeds sown in March than on other dates and seedling density was highest in these beds at the end of the season. Seedlings derived from seeds sown in June and under the mulch grew poorly. Sowing date and seedbed density had no significant effect on seedling morphological quality.
Published
2005-11-01
How to Cite
O’Reilly, C., Doody, C., Morrissey, N., Özbingöl, N., O’Leary, D., & Thompson, B. (2005). Birch seedlings can be grown to plantable size in one year using cloches in the nursery . Irish Forestry. Retrieved from https://journal.societyofirishforesters.ie/index.php/forestry/article/view/9967
Section
Articles