|Special Public Works Programmes - SPWP - Planting Trees - An Illustrated Technical Guide and Training Manual (ILO - UNDP, 1993, 190 p.)|
|3. Handling seedlings|
You should only use seedlings of good quality. Never use seedlings left over from the year or the planting season before. Replacement is much more expensive than seedling production.
Seedlings of good quality have:
- a shoot between one or two times the length of the root (or the pot);
- a sturdy, woody stem with a strong root collar;
- a symmetrical, dense crown;
- a root system with many thin roots in addition to the tap root;
- no signs of fungus or insect attack.
Seedlings of inferior quality should never leave the nursery. If they have, they should be rejected at planting stage. If the plantation site is varied, it may be useful to separate the plants into two or three quality classes. The best plants should be used on the most difficult or inaccessible part of the site. Second quality plants should be used on the more favourable part of the site where replacement planting is less costly.