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Proceedings of Past Forest Nursery Association Meetings:

The Target Seedling Concept: Implementing a Program
Robin Rose and Diane L. Haase
1995: Mitchell, IN
The Target Seedling Symposium in 1990 (Rose et al) covered a range of topics surrounding
the target seedling concept. The usefulness of stock type designations was found to be less
than worthy where there is a necessity to set criteria for reforestation success. Height and
stem diameter were found to be useful target traits in seedlings, but these traditional measures
of quality require support from other seedling traits in order to be useful. Root growth
potential was not found to be quite as useful in pinpointing reforestation success as
previously thought. Root system size was clearly shown to greatly enhance the ability to
quantitatively assess quality. Mycorrhizae play an important role in reforestation success in
some areas and their presence or absence can have subtle impacts on how seedlings perform.
Bud dormancy and cold hardiness in temperate tree species can have profound impacts on
seedling field performance Seedling moisture status is key to lifting seedlings in spring and
ensuring their ability to survive the first few weeks after outplanting when new roots are
being formed. And lastly, mineral nutrition is a vital link with reforestation success.
Seedlings sent to the forest with nutrient imbalances are likely to suffer growth set backs
even when environmental conditions are good. Seedling quality testing using the above
mentioned traits is an integral part of all of this and forms the basis for discovering which
traits will work best as successful reforestation criterion.
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