Cost-Effective Systems for Seedling Production and Tree Farm Establishment

Author(s): Eduardo 0. Mangaoang, Edwin D. Cedamon and Arturo E. Pasa


Experiences from the ACIAR Smallholder Forestry Project reveal that production and use of high quality seedlings is a critical consideration for successful tree farming and reforestation activity, considering that most reforestation activities have been largely dependent on nursery-produced seedlings. While the use of polyethylene bags has been the traditional technique for raising seedlings, planting stock produced often has a deformed or J-shape taproot and may develop to mature trees with poor anchorage in the field. The research project introduced the use of hiko tray as potting containers in seedling production as a way of resolving the problem of J-rooting and producing higher quality seedlings. An economic analysis was conducted to determine the comparative advantage and feasibility of the polybag and hiko tray techniques, with a view of promoting the adoption of the hiko technique among tree farmers, especially the smallholders. Results of the study revealed that the hiko tray technique is superior to the traditional polybag technique in terms of labour efficiency and cost in the nursery and field establishment, aside from the fact that higher quality seedlings are produced that provide the tree farmer a higher level of assurance of timber harvest and cash income from forestry.

Keywords : Hiko tray, J-rooting, windthrow, labour requirement, outplanting.

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