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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.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentPreface
View the documentIntroduction
close this folder1. Planning a plantation
View the document(introduction...)
View the document1.1 What regeneration method to use?
View the document1.2 What species to establish?
View the document1.3 Whether to plant a single tree species or a mixture of several?
View the document1.4 What type of planting stock to use?
View the document1.5 What planting pattern to use and how many seedlings to plant?
View the document1.6 When to plant?
View the document1.7 How to protect the seedlings?
View the document1.8 The plantation plan
close this folder2. Preparing the planting site
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View the document2.1 Clearing vegetation
View the document2.2 Ground preparation
View the document2.3 Marking where to dig the holes
View the document2.4 Digging holes
View the document2.5 Soil and water conservation measures
close this folder3. Handling seedlings
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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
close this folder4. Planting techniques
View the document(introduction...)
View the document4.1 Digging the holes
View the document4.2 On-site distribution of the seedlings
View the document4.3 Planting
View the document4.4 Use of fertilizers
close this folder5. Adapting planting techniques to different site conditions
View the document(introduction...)
View the document5.1 Favourable sites
View the document5.2 Sites with high grass
View the document5.3 Waterlogged sites
View the document5.4 Dry sites
View the document5.5 Eroding slopes and rocky sites
View the document5.6 Steep slopes
View the document5.7 Sand dunes
View the document5.8 High altitudes with snow
close this folder6. Maintaining plantations
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View the document6.1 Weed control
View the document6.2 Protection from grazing
View the document6.3 Fire prevention
View the document6.4 Protection from insects, diseases and rodents
View the document6.5 Fertilizers
View the document6.6 Replacement planting
close this folder7. Planting trees outside woodlots and forests
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View the document7.1 Trees in crop and grazing land
View the document7.2 Alley cropping
View the document7.3 Intercropping in rotation
View the document7.4 Intercropping for tree planting
View the document7.5 Shelterbelts
View the document7.6 Road-sides and river-sides
View the document7.7 Homesteads and public places
close this folder8. Organizing the work
View the document(introduction...)
View the document8.1 Planning
View the document8.2 Workforce
View the document8.3 Labour requirements over the year
View the document8.4 Worknorms
View the document8.5 Coordinating the work
View the document8.6 Tools and equipment
View the document8.7 Supervision and control
View the document8.8 Records to keep
close this folder9. Working conditions
View the document(introduction...)
View the document9.1 Hours of work and rest
View the document9.2 Nutrition and amenities
View the document9.3 Wage systems
View the document9.4 Training, job content and labour-management relations
View the document9.5 Safety
close this folderAppendices - Technical sheets
View the documentAppendix 1 - Surveying and mapping of large planting sites
View the documentAppendix 2 - Laying out and preparing soil and water conservation structures
View the documentAppendix 3 - Survival count
View the documentSome useful guides/handbooks
View the documentTitles in the series of training elements and technical guides for SPWP workers

3.1 Packing and transport of seedlings

The time between the seedlings, leaving nursery and their being planted should be as short as possible. They must be constantly protected from strong light, heat and drying out. There are small root hairs that will dry out and wither in seconds if left exposed to the sun or dry winds. The seedling should be thoroughly watered before leaving the nursery. This will provide the seedling with the largest possible reserve of water and minimize the risk of soil being shaken out of the pots during transport.

Containerized seedlings

Only the containers should be held when containerized seedlings are carried. Seedlings should never be held by the shoots. Whenever possible, use boxes for transport.

Metal platforms of vehicles often get very hot, and this will burn the root tips at the bottom of the pots. Pour water over the platform and/or spread out soil, straw or twigs. It is especially important to put a thick layer over the exhaust pipe otherwise the heat may destroy some of the seedlings. If the seedlings are loaded onto carts, pickups or trucks, load densely and upright. Make sure that they do not fall over during the transport. If necessary, water the plants on the arrival at the planting site.

If a vehicle is carrying the plants, it should travel at moderate speed and the plants should be covered by a layer of grass, a mat or a tarpaulin to prevent them from being dried out by the wind.

Transport from the nursery to the planting site is often a limiting factor, slowing the progress of the planting work. Simple metal structures with several shelves, as shown in the illustration on the preceding page, can multiply the capacity of trucks and trailers several fold.

Packing and transport of seedlings


Water seedlings before they leave the nursery

Containerized seedlings


Never pull by the shoots


Use trays and boxes for transport


Spread straw or twigs


Load upright


Cover plants with a mat

Bare-rooted seedlings

Bare-rooted seedlings have to be packaged in order for the roots to be well protected from drying out. Sacking, banana leaves, plastic bags with ventilation holes or cans may be used for packing and wrapping. To preserve moisture, the roots can be covered with wet grass, leaves, sawdust or a mixture of water and clay.