Growing Trees

Forest Restoration

Bringing forests back following land abandonment is a complicated task. Often, the land has been used intensively (e.g. cattle grazing) and for such prolonged timeframes (>50 years) that primary forests that once existed might never return if left alone. Planted forests do not have a comparable degree of biodiversity or the structural complexity of an old growth forest. Birds have fewer trees good for nesting, epiphytes, plants growing on other plants, are absent and decaying deadwood is far from the necessary amount for ecosystem sustainability. Some wildlife populations have been driven to local extinction. In fact, many species associated with old growth primary forests are still missing from these traditionally restored ones. By focusing on restoring the missing biodiversity and the old-growth inter-species interactions, we will restore stability to the ecosystem.

Trees and forests are ideally positioned to create jobs where they are needed most: in urban neighborhoods and rural communities. SEEDseller has developed new efforts through our flagship forest restoration programs with local communities and our partner groups to create new economic opportunities. Section of this website covers topics realted to systems and methods of seedling production, seed technology, vegetative propogation, irrigation, pest and disease management, seedling storage, best agroforestry and afforastation practices etc.,

Guidelines for raising Superior Quality Seedlings for Plantation, social, agro or community forestry programmes:

There exists an intrinsic synergistic relationship between trees and human beings. Human and animal life will be definitely impaired if growing trees, shrubs, herbs, climbers and plants of other types is neglected. So, planting of trees becomes the urgent nee of the day not only in India but for the world over. About one third of the land surface of the world, today is in the grip of deserts. Viewing the present status of global population explosion, which will reach five to six billion by the turn of this century, one cannot afford to waste one third area of the land only under deserts. One of the most common and recognized strategy to check desertification is to undertake tree plantations. Wasteland should be rehabilitated by planting fast growing multipurpose tree species which can provide food, fuel, fodder, fruit, nutrients and fiber. Absence of vegetation in hilly areas cause more losses of soil and water than plain areas which will be normally under tree cover. Planting of trees should not only be emphasized in rural areas but also in urban areas. In urban areas trees help to control air and noise pollution and enhance scenic beauty of the cities. In India, extensive land is available along thousands of kilometers of rail tracks and National highways, canal sides and drainage channels. Though some planting has been taken up in these areas under the auspicious of social forestry programmes, the overall achievement is not very satisfactory. All these areas could be effectively utilized for planting of trees which inturn acts as shelter belts and windbreaks. In addition to these protective functions, the productive aspects like fuelwood, fodder and small timbers from the trees are also commendable.

The urgency to reclaim arid and semi-arid regions, which comprise of one third of the earth’s land surface is today well recognized. Due to tremendous increase in the human population and corresponding increase in daily needs, forests are shrinking in their area and volume. This problem is more pronounced in developing countries of Asia and Africa. Further, the reckless cutting of trees has deteriorated the environmental conditions also. Many programmes have been launched by agencies to recoup the forested conditions in the form of reforestation and afforestation. Emphasis also being given on agro and social forestry programmes in problematic areas near mines and industrial complexes, salt affected areas, waste lands and other undulating terrain. Although there is now a broad recognition of the need for tree plantations in these regions, the availability of suitable planting stock in fairly large quantities and good qualities is the biggest snag in executing plantation programmes.

Further, as reforestation and afforestation programmes have expanded, it has become increasingly apparent that raising seedling is the costliest and potentially the riskiest phase of sustained yield in forestry. It need not be overemphasized the importance of producing suitable provenance or varieties for extensive planting programmes. The success rate of afforestation at any site depends on the quality of planting stock. Foresters have complained for years about poor seedling survival and growth. Nowadays, foresters are becoming more and more aware of high-quality seedling for success in reforestation programme. Planting seedling of optimum quality is one of the important factors in all reforestation efforts. In this connection many nurseries have been developed to raise seedlings of forest tree species.

Desertification, both natural and man made is serious problem faced by most of the countries particularly tropical development countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. One of the most common and recognized strategy to check desertification is to undertake extensive tree planting programmes. Nowadays there has been an increasing awareness among the people about the role played by trees in controlling most of the environment issues. Unfortunately raising tree seedlings and its plantations are one of the most important problems in most parts of the country, mainly due to lack of knowledge and expertise. Although there is a broad recognition of the need of tree plantations in the country, the availability of suitable planting materials in large quantities at correct time is the biggest snag in executing afforestation programme. 

The importance of nursery raised seedlings for the success of tree plantations can hardly be over stressed. Raising nurseries is the first step in any commercial forestry programmes particularly in agroforestry and farm forestry practices and in afforestation programmes in restoring ecological balance and in contributing to socio-economic development of rural areas. 

Raising of seedlings in a nursery can be described as the growing of planting stock from a propagule to the physical size and physiological condition that will enable satisfactory growth of the plants when planted in the main field. Selection of good quality propagule like seed, graft, budding or layer is very important in any type of scientific tree planting programme. Successful afforestation is highly dependent upon the site characteristics, genetic quality of the stock and the physiological mechanism of establishment and survival. Growth and survival of seedlings are the functions of initial vigour, growth rate and the resistance to environmental stress and pest and disease infestations. The proper cultural treatments and pre and post planting care may solicit more effective responses than treatments during any other stage of growth and life of trees and this will definitely be manifested later on the growth of mature trees. Thus, in order to maximize the success towards the final product, it is essential to raise seedlings in nurseries with proper care and management. A thorough and scientific knowledge of various aspects of raising tree seedlings of commercial forest tree species is very essential for a viable afforestation programme. It need not be over emphasized that the success of afforestation depends on the quality of the planting stock. 

To meet the increased seedling production projected for the next decade, new nurseries have to be started and existing nurseries should be expanded with scientific management. Raising of seedling in a nursery can be described as the growing of planting stock from a propagule to the physical size and physiological condition that will enable satisfactory growth in the field when planted. The propagule may consist of a seed cutting, a graft, a layer or a bud wood. In nursery the seed is made to germinate, cutting or graft or layer is rooted and these are cultured to the appropriate size with quality. No matter what type of propagule is used and what its genetic quality maybe, the cost of each product will be almost the same. Interestingly, the seed from an inferior tree will cost the same to grow as the seed from the orchard or from genetically superior trees. The facilities and the cultural steps for each will be almost the same and hence the cost will not vary much. However, the productivity of the tree will be greatly affected by the quality of propagule. Thus, there is a need to propagate an improved stock under strict supervision and modern scientific management.


Ancient indian science of plant life and plant care: Area of this website provides a comprehensive insight into plants and trees widely used in Vrikshayurveda; methods of plant health, nutritional care and management and biological control measures along with the scope for developing process and products.