Seedlings for a future forest
New seedlings will be used in the restoration of coniferous-broadleaf forests in the “Land of the Leopard” National Park.
With the support of METRO company and WWF, the tree nursery of the Institute of Forestry of the Primorskaya Agricultural Academy is enjoying a second birth. In October 2011 the Primorskaya Agricultural Academy received the long-awaited right to unlimited use of a 29 000 hectares experimental forestry unit and launched the resurrection of the tree nursery which is located here. This autumn, Academy students took collected seeds of Korean pine and Manchurian fir, which observed a bumper crop, and in early May work began on the sowing of coniferous and broadleaved seeds in the nursery.
“First of all the activities conducted in the nursery are aimed at educational and scientific purposes. This is an outdoor laboratory where the students learn hands-on about basic nursery techniques and gain real professional skills. Here the students and the professors conduct experiments on growing seedlings of different tree species by different methods, - says Alexandr Ivanov, chief of laboratory of practical training of the Academy. – But another important goal in our joint work with WWF Russia is the production of tree seedlings for restoration of degraded coniferous-broadleaf forests of Primorye and namely on the territory of the Land of the Leopard and the experimental forestry unit which suffered considerably from logging over the past ten years”.
400 kilograms of Korean pine seeds, 5 kg of Manchurian fir seeds and 3 kg of Cajander larch seeds were planted on an area of more than 0,5 hectares. Such species as Amur cork tree, heartleaf hornbeam, Manchurian walnut, cranberrybush viburnum, Amur honeysuckle and other species were planted as well in smaller quantities. All seeds have passed the cold stratification. Analysis showed that the germinative capacity of Korean pine seeds totalled more than 90%.
For the first time in the history of the nursery all agronomic techniques were mechanized, which greatly simplifies the growing of seedling and lowers costs and improves quality.
“WWF Russia supported the restoration and construction of infrastructure on the territory of nursery – storage for the seeds, fencing, a guest house, a greenhouse and purchasing of the equipment. Today we can say that the time of “renaissance” has come for the nursery, - comments Denis Smirnov, the head of the Forest program of WWF-Russia Amur branch.