Auburn University, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
Janaki Alavalapati, Dean
3301 Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building
Auburn, AL 36849-5418
|Scott Enebak - Director||334.844.1028|
|Barry Brooks - Technician||334.844.4998|
|Nina Payne - Herbicides||334.844.4917|
|Ryan Nadel - Forest Ecologist/Entomologist||334.844.1538|
|Elizabeth Bowersock - Outreach Administrator||334.844.1012|
To develop and disseminate available cultural, biological and chemical technologies using an integrated system for the economical production and utilization of forest tree seedlings in the southern United States.
The Nursery Cooperative initiated activities in 1972. It was recognized at that time that nursery production in the Southeast was facing a number of critical issues influencing the cost effective production of southern pine planting stock used for reforestation. Nursery managers from forest industry, the states, and the U.S. Forest Service were facing severe pest management problems. The Coop, therefore, devoted considerable research effort to developing effective weed and disease control technologies and to transfer this knowledge to those individuals in nursery management. During the 1980s, the Coop program moved into the area of seedling quality as research showed that nursery related factors such as seedling size, fertility, and health, affected performance after planting. The Coop continues work in both pest management and seedling quality issues, but now is putting increased emphasis on environmental impact of pesticides and fertilizers in nurseries, hardwood culture, and the integration of nursery practices with site preparation and post-outplanting operations. All of these research programs are accompanied by rapid dissemination of new information to the Coop membership through research reports, annual meetings, newsletters, and field visits. The Coop increasingly represents the forest tree nursery community of the South to the EPA and USDA regarding policy and regulatory decisions that affect the nursery business.
The Nursery Management Cooperative currently has 17 members; 8 forest industries, 8 state forestry organizations, and the U.S. Forest Service. Together, the Cooperative membership produces approximately 70% of all the tree seedlings grown in the United States. Members are expected to actively participate in Cooperative activities by allowing research to be conducted on their nurseries/land and, to a limited extent, provide labor and materials to conduct that research.
The Cooperative Strategic Plan specifies three general areas of activity: Research, Technology Transfer, and Coop Development. The Coop has a very active research program that includes 20 to 30 research projects at any given time that usually fall into one of four general areas: pesticide evaluation, nursery cultural practices, minimization of environmental impacts, and “optimal” seedling definition. Examples of current research topics are: nutsedge and spruge control, hardwood nursery herbicides, methyl-bromide substitution, winter fertilization, Fusarium infection of longleaf pine seed, use of plant growth promoting rhizobacteria, seedling size, and seedling storage.
The Nursery Cooperative also has an active Technology Transfer program. The Cooperative has offered shortcourses on Introductory Nursery Management, Nursery Fertilization, and Irrigation Management. The Cooperative has produced 60 Research Reports from 1995 to 2001. An 8 page biennial spring and fall newsletter is sent to the membership each year. A “Contact Meeting” is conducted annually for nursery managers where recent research results are presented to the Coop membership. In 2002 we prepared an application for a Critical Use Exemption for the continued availability of methyl-bromide in the forest tree nurseries of 12 southern states. We also have been working closely with the EPA during the re-registration of oxyfluorfen herbicide (Goal®) to maintain use rates suitable for forest tree nurseries.