Plant Materials Center Update for April 28, 2022
Here are 5 things that you should know about the PMC for April 28, 2022:
The PMC is over halfway through with its transplanting season. Transplanting refers to planting small conifer plugs into a transplant field here. They will grow through this growing season and will be harvested this winter for next year’s plug-1 transplant conifers. The PMC grows many of these species from seed for 2 years in a seedbed and some as transplants. The transplant seedlings are spaced out more than the seedbed seedlings and as a result have more roots and stem caliper. That makes them more survivable in harsher sites. They also cost twice as much as a seedling grown in a seedbed. If one has a difficult site, they should consider paying the extra for a transplant, but if the site has good soil and moisture the extra cost may not be as worthwhile.
The transplant crew consists of 9 of the crew, plus a tractor driver (Bill) and a supervisor. The PMC will plant over 250,000 plugs this week and next and approximately 35,000 are planted per day.
End of Season
The PMC is almost through shipping and will soon turn off its cooler. It is time. The plants have been inside bags for weeks and they are deteriorating. In addition, the weather is getting warmer and drier making survival more difficult for the new seedlings. If there is anyone still needing plants, please contact us ASAP. Next week will most likely be the last week to get plants.
The focus lately has been on finishing this year’s sales and shipping season and getting started on the next. As a result, there is not an updated sales report. There will be one next week. Sales remain over $1.5 million and 35% over this time last year. It has been a remarkable sales year thanks to the efforts of so many.
Planning for the Future
One very important part of entering a new growing season is determining what seeds to collect this year, how much and from where. There has been a lot of talk about a significant increase in riparian buffer strip planting, as well as fire rehab and reforestation. For the most part however there has been little in the way of firm orders for next year and beyond. Without more certainty about future demand, the projected quantities of plants needed over the next 2 to 3 years will be based upon historic demand plus modest growth. If anyone has confirmed need for significant quantities of plants in 2024 and 2025 one might want to consider ordering now so that the nurseries have better reason for increasing production.
After transplanting is complete it will be time to catch up on weeding which is also behind schedule just like everything else. The PMC will be playing catchup on that starting next week. The next big activity which comes in mid-May is spring seed sowing, getting irrigation up and running and root culturing. After this sales season is complete it will be time to start looking at what there is to sell next year and start entering orders. There are already an unprecedented number of orders for next year. There’s always something coming up around here.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Director of Nursery Operations