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Proceedings of Past Forest Nursery Association Meetings:

Container Optimization--Field Data Support Container Innovation
David A. Bainbridge
1994: Moscow, ID
Container planting is essential for successful revegetation or restoration of most dry sites. Therefore, one of the most important choices in developing a planting program is determining the container that best meets biological and bureaucratic requirements and will provide the maximum number of survivors in the field at minimal cost. The primary function of the container is to hold the growing medium, which supplies the roots with water, air, mineral nutrients, and physical support. Although surprisingly little research has been conducted on container considerations for dry sites since (Goor, 1963), evidence suggests that deeper (taller) containers may be beneficial (Bainbridge, 1987; Smith, 1988; Felker et al., 1988; Newman et al., 1990; Holden, 1992).

This study reviews the field experiences of the desert revegetation group at San Diego State University over the last 8 years with transplanted container plants. We have found that excellent seedling survival and growth can be expected even in areas with less than 3 inches [75 mm] of rain per year if plants are well prepared and provided with minimal water (2-3 supplemental waterings totalling about 2 quarts) and protection (cages and/or treeshelters).
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