Care of Stock
Care of Stock
- Care of Nursery Stock
Proper care of nursery stock after it is received from the nursery is critical to ensure planting success. The following guidelines should be incorporated into your tree planting program:
- Before delivery have the storage facility temperature stabilized at 34°F to 40°F for several days to ensure all equipment is properly functioning. Wet walls and floor daily with water to provide a humidity level of 90% or greater.
- Root coverings such as shingletow or sphagnum moss should be water soaked for 24 hours prior to use to hydrate fully.
- Mice can cause tremendous damage to seedlings by chewing and eating undetected on roots, stems, and buds. Bait the tree storage facility before stacking stock on pallets or racks.
- Examine stock after receipt and notify the nursery immediately regarding any questions.
- Nursery stock is a rapidly perishable product under improper storage conditions. Roots should be kept moist at all times. Use a root covering and mist several times daily including weekends. Root dehydration will result in seedling death. Keep in mind that cooler units remove moisture from the storage room whenever they are in operation.
- UPS shipments can remain in the poly lined boxes until planting. Open after receipt and check daily for moisture needs. Refrigerate as soon as possible.
- Do not expose root systems to drying wind and sun during transport to the planting area and cover roots with damp burlap while on the tree planter before planting.
- Rotate stock so that unplanted stock from the previous day is the first stock planted the next day.
- Success of the planting, especially with evergreens, is reduced when planting in temperatures in excess of 75°F in combination with hot, drying winds. Begin planting as early as possible in the day.
- Always handle nursery stock with care, rough handling can damage or destroy critical seedling cell layers which will not be immediately evident.
- Stock may be heeled into soil, sand, or sawdust in a shaded, cool area if controlled cooler storage is not available. Bud break will occur more rapidly in outside storage. Once again, moisture in the root system area is critical.
- Excessively long or damaged roots may be trimmed with sharp hand pruners before planting. Do not break roots off, a clean cut heals quickly.
Storage molds in the form of a white film often develop on cooler stored stock. These storage molds feed on external organic materials on the seedlings or on root exudates. The molds can be removed by washing gently with a garden hose. Stock can be dipped in a fungicide if it is to be further stored for several days or weeks.