Now taking orders for Nordmann and Noble Fir for Spring/Autumn 2017 planting
Limerick Christmas Tree Centre have seen an increase in the demand of plug cell grown plants used for Christmas tree production. The Cell Grown plants flexibility in planting time has enabled Christmas tree growers to plant when it suits them. Our quality of stock grown is second to none with constant repeat orders somewhat dictating the species we supply and the volumes in which we have contract grown. The fact that certain species used for the production of Christmas Trees often run low is more evidence to suggest that the Cell Grown plant is by some growers the preferred method of production. The superb quality we have been able to offer in recent years, have, we are sure also contributed to the current shortfall on the open market.
We have been given the privilege of being able to secure an exclusive contract with Ireland's main producer of Christmas tree transplants, to supply us with only quality transplants at very competitive prices which we purchase on our fellow growers behalf which in turn will save you money and time in trying to source and purchase quality plants.
To pre-order or just enquire for prices Contact Us
Plug Cell Grown Plants are plants grown in small containers called cells. Multi-celled trays hold compost into which tree seeds are sown. The plants are grown with the trays supported above the ground, allowing air pruning of the taproots and root tips. This ‘pruning’ promotes further fibrous root development, the key to future survival of a plant. Physical ridges on the individual cell walls prevent any root spiraling, and train the roots downwards. Cell grown plants are extracted from their cells prior to dispatch and are wrapped in protective packaging to ensure the root plug stays moist. The plants are planted with a completely intact, fibrous root system, which minimizes stress, and ensures good survival.
- Planting Season: Planting is not restricted and can be up to 12 months of the year.
- Survival Rate: Using Cells or Containers can substantially increase the survival rate.
- Growth after planting: Cells and Containers normally grow straightaway after planting
- Storage: Cells and Containers do not require the use of a cold store and are quite happy to be left outside. No heeling in needed.
- Planting: Easy to plant tidy root systems effectively.
- Root Damage: None if handled properly. The roots are contained and protected by compost so the young fibrous roots suffer no damage or desiccation. The whole root system is planted.
The Handling and Planting of Cell Grown Plants
If the benefits of using Cell Grown Plants are to be fully realised, it is important to recognise that the final planting out can be the most vulnerable stage and root systems can be irreparably damaged if adequate care is not taken with the storage and planting of the plants themselves.
Plug Cell Grown Plants are living things, and that whilst the root plugs provide a degree of protection, they will die just like any other plant if allowed to dry out.
It can take the nurseryman up to two years to build a fibrous root system, and careless aftercare two minutes to destroy it!
On receipt of the trees, if they have arrived packed in a box, the boxes should be opened and the trees stood upright if there is likely to be a delay in planting. Trees received during the dormant winter months can be held for several weeks in the boxes. Once the trees have become active they should be stood upright as soon as possible.
If Cell Grown Plants arrive on site, not boxed and standing upright, they should be stored in a sheltered location if possible. This will reduce water loss, even deciduous trees will draw some water from the cells in the dormant season. The leeward side of a wall or a few bales of straw are all that is required. However the plants are received, they should be kept moist, the principle being to protect the trees from physical damage and desiccation.
The type of tool used for planting is largely a matter of personal preference. However, the uniform and compact nature of the root plug does mean that a smaller spade than is used for bare-root stock can be used. Whichever tool is used it is important to ensure that the top of the root plug is covered by at least 1-2cms of the planting medium and the soil firmed around the root plug.
I like to use one of these for planting, a planting dibber, this is a home made one
Benefits of using Cell Grown plants
Flexible work planning:-
Allows planting of Cell Grown plants to be carried out when ground conditions are appropriate, and also when labour is available and convenient. Thus in-house labour can be easily used.
Flexible planting season:-
Allows planting into warm soils when roots are active, encouraging rapid establishment. August/October and March/April being ideal. This also provides better working conditions, leading to the likelihood of better planting!
Minimal root disturbance:-
Root systems are supplied intact, with no loss of fine feeding roots and root hairs, which can often carry associated mycorrhizae, and are essential for speedy establishment.
The grading and uniformity of Cell Grown stock in size and root quality ensures as consistent a plant as possible is used.
Disciplined and safe plant handling:-
Due to the tidy packaging and presentation of Cell Grown plants, they cannot be visible mishandled, damaging plant viability. This enables a high success rate.
Along with the compost protecting the roots, one has the option to add slow release fertilisers at planting time.