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close this bookSpecial Public Works Programmes - SPWP - Planting Trees - An Illustrated Technical Guide and Training Manual (ILO - UNDP, 1993, 190 p.)
close this folder3. Handling seedlings
View the document(introduction...)
View the document3.1 Packing and transport of seedlings
View the document3.2 Storing seedlings
View the document3.3 Quality of seedlings and grading
View the document3.4 Stripping and trimming
View the document3.5 Transporting seedlings from the road to the planting site

3.4 Stripping and trimming

With tall, broadleaved species, young shoots and part of the foliage must be trimmed or stripped off to reduce transpiration until the roots have had a chance to reestablish their water supply function. Some species such as Azidirachta indica and Khaya senegalensis should be stripped of all leaves except for the terminal bud and two or three near it. Remove the leaves carefully. The terminal bud must not be damaged. If possible the plants should be stripped in the nursery before lifting out.

Overgrown seedlings of some broadleaved species like Eucalyptus can be trimmed back to the right root: shoot ratio with a pruning shear. After planting they survive much better than seedlings that are too large.

Good quality plant

Root: shoot ratio 1:1 to 1:2


¬ Symmetrical dense crown

¬ Woody stem with strong root collar

¬ Dense root system


1st class

2nd class

3rd class not to be planted