|Special Public Works Programmes - SPWP - Planting Trees - An Illustrated Technical Guide and Training Manual (ILO - UNDP, 1993, 190 p.)|
|3. Handling seedlings|
Seedlings often have to be transported from the road to the planting site by pack animal or man. Since this is hard work, pack animals are preferable. The total weight to be carried during one day is considerable. In places where roads are sparse the seedlings may have to be transported long distances. If the planting site is large, a number of small deposit points should be set up so that hand carrying can be kept to a minimum.
Tools required for transporting seedlings
A back-pack model seedling carrier is preferable if seedlings have to be carried over long distances, and particularly when the terrain is steep and rough. These may be constructed from traditional baskets and can be used for both bare-rooted and containerized seedlings.
For bare-rooted seedlings there is one model where the seedlings are laid down with the roots toward the middle and secured with a cloth.
When seedlings are delivered in light-weight trays, a carrier on which the trays can be fastened is preferable. Wooden trays are heavy and should only be carried relatively short distances.
Yokes are less convenient than backpacks, but it is still far easier to use one than to carry the plants with ones arms. Yokes are sticks of a suitable shape put across the shoulders. The load is suspended on strings at each end.
for containerized seedlings
for bare-rooted seedlings
Common mistakes in handling seedlings
Poor planting stock is not sorted out leading to low survival.
The seedlings are pulled by the shoots, thereby breaking them and causing deformation of the future trees.
Containerized seedlings are not transported upright and well secured. The earth-balls around the roots break up and therefore the advantage of using an expensive containerized seedling is lost at the last moment.
Seedlings are stored too long before planting.
Seedlings are not adequately protected against drying out.