Auburn University, College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment
Janaki Alavalapati, Dean
3301 Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Building
Auburn, AL 36849-5418
|Scott Enebak - Director||334.844.1028|
|Nina Payne - Herbicides||334.844.4917|
|Annakay Newell - Assistant Research Professor||334.844.8069|
|Tom Stokes - Research Associate||334.844.1073|
|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 Nursery Cooperative, 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 Nursery Cooperative 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 Nursery Cooperative continues work in both pest management and seedling quality issues, but now is putting increased emphasis on the 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 Nursery Cooperative membership through research reports, annual meetings, newsletters, and field visits. The Nursery Cooperative 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 14 members; 7 forest industries, 6 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 Nursery Cooperative Strategic Plan specifies three general areas of activity: Research, Technology Transfer, and Nursery Cooperative Development. The Nursery Cooperative 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 spurge 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 for its members by offering short courses on Introductory Nursery Management, Nursery Fertilization, and Irrigation Management, producing multiple Research Reports, Technical Notes, and Management Alerts each year, disseminating a newsletter each spring and fall, as well as hosting and conducting 2 meetings every year. A Contact Meeting for nursery managers is conducted each summer, where recent research results are presented to the Membership and an Advisory Council meeting is held each fall, where new research projects are presented and voted into the annual work plan.