|Home > Agriculture Pavilion > Love Our Forests > The Nursery|
In addition to the seed storage facilities set up for research purposes and to preserve the diversity of genes, the Forestry Bureau has also set up a seedling area for good tree species in each of its forest branch offices. Each year a certain portion of the budget is devoted to seedling work. The harvested seeds and slips are sent to nurseries in the Luodong, Hsinchu, Dongshi, Nantou, Chiayi, Pingtung, Hualien, and Taitung forest branch offices for cultivation, and excess seeds are stored at the Forest Seed Center at the Dongshi Forest Bureau Branch Office.
In addition to providing conventional nurseries, the forest branch offices have also leased lands to set up temporary nurseries for special purposes. The Forestry Bureau is currently promoting its ˇ§One Life One Tree; Green Homeˇ¨ program, which advocates that each one of the 23 million people in Taiwan plant at least one tree in his/her lifetime as a contribution toward slowing down global warming. The staff at each district office decide how many plantlets will be raised in the regular nurseries based on the planned amount of forestation. The plantlets are used for forestation as well as to maintain diversity of the species. The types of trees to be planted are determined by the location and economic value, which means using ˇ§the right plant for the right placeˇ¨. ˇ§The right plant for the right placeˇ¨ means that trees are chosen by the forest branch offices for places with different environments such as the coast, plains and highlands, taking the soil, climate, geological features and elevation into consideration. In coastal areas, for example, trees must be high wind and sodium tolerant or they will not survive. Various species of trees are suitable for different elevations, and the future economic value of the trees is also an important criterion. Mahogany is now one of the most popular species of trees in the southern region because it provides fine furniture material and the bark can be reprocessed to make cleaning products.
Whether the location is regular or leased nurseries, the lands must all be prepared before planting. Weeding and cleaning of obstructing shrubs as well as planning of a good drainage system must be carried out. In addition, soil improvement and sterilization are also very important. Bacteria-free soil helps the trees to grow healthy, and adequate additives will provide the nutrients needed for plant cultivation. After the beds are fully prepared, the seeds of the tree species chosen for various needs are placed into the soil at optimum distances from each other. Some trees may be planted from slips. Trees that have lower survival rates must be cultured in containers or bags and carefully attended at each of the growing stages from budding to becoming a fully-grown plantlet. Newly-developed speed breeding technologies use a minimum amount of land to cultivate the maximum amount of seedlings, which not only effectively shortens the seedling time but also lowers seedling costs.
All plants, whether reared from seeds or slips, must be carefully attended. The procedures include regular watering and weeding, especially for fragile seedlings, to ensure that the grounds will not be overgrown by weeds. When diseases are discovered, adequate amounts of chemical disinfectants must be used. In addition, regular fertilization is an essential part of the process. When the seedlings grow to a certain size, inferior plantlets must be removed and good trees properly pruned to ensure that the trees will grow up healthy in the future after transplantation.