Autumn for JSC “Latvia’s State Forests” (LVM) nurseries is always a busy time: before putting plants in the nursery freezers, the grown seedlings are sorted and packed. Freezers do not let climatic conditions affect the seedlings. In the spring, as it is getting warmer, seedlings will be ready for planting in the forest.
“Autumn harvest in the nurseries is just as busy time as spring sowing and plant sale. Everything needs to be done before winter has come with its white snowdrifts. Tractors are in continuous movement, transferring container seedlings and taking the bare root seedlings with improved root system out of the field. Then, in the nursery hangars, seedlings are wax-treated, packed, and put into the freezers. And it all needs to be arranged according to plant origins, client demand, and delivery logistics”, explains Laima Zvejniece, “LVM Seeds and Plants” Deputy Director for Production.
Photo: Plant treated with Cervikol in order to protect it from wild animals
Plant packing and moving to the freezers was started on October 17, when the average daily air temperature had fallen to +6⁰ C and the root system of the seedlings was ready to hibernate. Temperature in the freezers is -4⁰ C and it is perfect for storing seedlings, protecting them from unfavourable thaws and black frosts during the winter; and this way, clients have a chance to buy the seedlings in early spring.
Freezers are located in the three largest “LVM Seeds and Plants” nurseries. The major part of the planting material (up to 10.5 million seedlings) are stored in Strenči nursery followed by Podiņi nursery with up to 3.5 million and Mazsili nursery with up to 4 million seedlings. Currently in Mazsili nursery construction works of additional freezing and production facilities are almost done. Commissioning is planned in mid-January, 2017.
This year, 46.2 million high-quality forest seedlings have been sold in the “LVM Seeds and Plants” nurseries. Of them 23.7 million seedlings have been planted in Latvia’s state forests, 10.5 million in private forests, and 12 million exported to neighbouring countries. It should be noted that export sales are not ended yet.
While seedlings are packed and hibernated, seed production departments are collecting cones from seed plantations. In December, dried cones in dry-houses start to release a pleasant smell and seed processing lines produce a new harvest of pine seeds. Seed reserves are stored in seed storage rooms for the next 5 to 10 years. This year, there might even be some harvest for the spruce in the rooted cuttings plantation in Svente.