In spite of the best plans, problems can arise. The nature of some problems requires that contingency plans be formulated and that operational staff are required to make discretionary decisions concerning stock suitability. For ministry staff, in addition to consulting with the nursery services officer and regional reforestation specialist, decisions should consider the Nursery and Seed Branch Seedling Supply and Distribution Policy. At each stage in the planting program, the following questions must be answered regarding stock condition and suitability.
Good communication is essential between the nursery/cold storage, nursery services staff, and the requesting agency. Solicitation of second opinions from specialists or reforestation foresters is encouraged.
Some problems may originate at the nursery and in cold storage. The following are some common problems and examples of possible solutions:
In addition to nursery problems, there are site conditions that can occur, or problems during storage and shipping, especially during hot-planting, that will require prompt decisions and decisive action.
A decision to proceed with any of these options should be weighed against the possibility and costs of not achieving the goals and standards outlined in the SP.
If stock cannot be planted as scheduled, it may be necessary to consider holding stock over until the next available planting window (Table 10). Holding over is not recommended because stock health and vigour are compromised by continued growth of the root system causing excessive root binding in the cavity resulting in poor aeration and drainage. Holding over smaller (PSB 211 and PSB 313) and older (2+0) stock types increases the risk of contracting root disease. Rapidly growing species such as Fdc, Lw, Ss, Cw, and hardwoods are more easily compromised by holding over than slower growing species such as Bl. Every effort should be made to stay with the original crop growing and planting schedule as set out in the initial contract.
Table 10. The possibility of transplanting or holding stock over
|Stock type||Season||Holding over||Transplant|
|PCT 211A 1+0||Su||No!||Possible|
|PCT 313B 1+0||Sp||No!||Possible|
|PCT 313B 1+0||Su||1+0 Sp||Possible|
|PCT 415B 1+0||Sp||No!||Not recommended|
|PCT 415B 1+0||Su||1+0 Sp||Not recommended|
|PSB 313B 1+0||Sp||No!||Possible|
|PSB 313B 1+0||Su||1+0 Sp||Possible|
|PSB 313B 2+0||Su||2+0 Sp||Not recommended|
|PSB 410 1+0||Su||1+0 Sp||Possible|
|PSB 410 1+0||Sp||No!||Possible|
|PSB 415B 1+0||Sp||No!||Possible|
|PSB 415B 1+0||Su||1+0 Sp||Possible|
|PSB 415B 2+0||Su||2+0 Sp||Not recommended|
|PSB 415D 1+0||Sp||No!||Not recommended|
|PSB 415D 1+0||Su||1+0 Sp||Not recommended|
|PSB 415D 2+0||Su||2+0 Sp||Not recommended|
|PSB 615 1+0||Sp||No!||Not recommended|
|PSB 615 1+0||Su||1+0 Sp||Not recommended|
|PSB 615 2+0||Su||2+0 Sp||Not recommended|
|PBR .5+.5||Su||.5+.5 Sp||Not recommended|
|PBR .5+.5||Sp||.5+1.5 Sp||Not recommended|
|PBR .5+1.5||Su||.5+1.5 Sp||Not recommended|
|BBR 2+0||Sp||No!||Not recommended|
Transplanting container stock to the field to produce a PBR is one method of holding over but should generally only be considered for smaller 1+0 stock types (Table 10). Spring is the ideal time to transplant stock. Transplanting later than June 15th (May 15th for coastal nurseries) does not allow enough time for adequate root egress and does not take full advantage of field culture. The 211 1+0 stock should not be held over by transplanting unless it is lightly rooted. Larger and older stock types are not recommended because they will produce excessively large seedlings that are difficult to manage at the nursery, will be expensive to store and plant. Transplants of 2+0 container stock may also develop root disease associated with being root-bound.
When holding stock over or transplanting, realize that seedling cost increases -- in the case of Sx, a PBR costs 62% more than a 313B (Table 7). When making a cost decision to hold stock over, examine the impacts on the whole planting program (e.g.,size of program next year, regeneration time frames, availability of plantable spots, and site accessibility). Also consider the requirement for increased logistical support (e.g., clearing snow and planter availability).
Plug to plug transplants (PPT) are another possibility when holding over is required. Other than when the initial sowing is as miniplugs (see plug transplants), this option is very labour intensive because it is unlikely that stock to be held over is in a container type for which transplanting machinery is available. It is also imperative that the plug to be transplanted is lightly rooted and small enough to fit into the preferred final cavity type. Cost of the final product will naturally have to increase as production inputs increase.