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Innovative tree tape system trial a ‘phenomenal’ success - Forestry and Land Scotland

Forestry and Land Scotland’s (FLS) full scale field trials of a revolutionary new seed propagation and planting system have proved to be a huge success – achieving an almost 2000 percent increase in per person productivity compared with conventional methods.

The trial at the FLS Newton Nursery (near Elgin), featured a new system called 'TreeTape', a modification of leading vegetable growing technology that was designed by Michael Ashby (Director of Cumbria Tree Growers) and Brian Fraser (Director of Oakover Nurseries Ltd).

Josh Roberts, FLS Innovation Manager, said; “The majority of trees that foresters plant are actually first grown in dedicated forest nurseries. Here, seed of known origin is germinated and grown to a suitable size before being taken to be planted at a future forest site. While in the nursery, one of the most labour intensive jobs involves carefully uprooting the tiny seedlings after their first year and then replanting them at the right spacing for another years’ growth. The existing system used for that job by Forestry and Land Scotland allows nursery staff to plant up to 60,000 seedlings in one day. The TreeTape system however has demonstrated during trials that it can plant 1 million trees in the same time and with fewer operators. What would have taken us weeks, with several teams on the go, was achieved in just four days.”

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