Reforestation is a vital component of sustainable forestry and is essential to the ecological restoration of disturbed and degraded lands. Skilled natural resource professionals with expertise in forest regeneration and native plant restoration are in high demand. The AFMP Experimental Seedling Nursery helps address this concern through an applied program of forest regeneration research, training, and outreach.
Current research evaluates different methods of seed treatment and seedling production for both traditional and non-traditional forest species. Some of the seedlings are then used by College of Forestry and Conservation faculty as controlled biomedia for regeneration-based field studies. The remainder are used in reforestation and restoration efforts by conservation partners. Seedling sales help support nursery operational costs and research activities.
The AFMP Seedling Nursery is based at Memorial Greenhouse. Located adjacent to the Forestry Building, Memorial Greenhouse was constructed in 1951 after years of efforts to bring reforestation capacities to the campus. It was named in tribute to the lost firefighters of the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire, six of which were University of Montana students. The 2,500 square foot greenhouse includes several individual bays for the potting, sowing, fertilization, and irrigation of container seedlings. Among its unique features are water-tight seedling beds for sub-irrigation, and a recessed floor tank for the propagation of fast-growing hardwood and shrub species. An attached headhouse allows for instruction and seed work. After years of limited use, efforts are now underway to restore the greenhouse to a fully functional condition and bring it to modern standards.
In addition to seedlings, growing a cohort of forest regeneration stewards is a primary objective of the nursery. Students and volunteers gain practical training and experience in all aspects of seedling propagation and reforestation, from seed collection and processing phases, through the seedling propagation phases, to the outplanting phase. As part of their education, students tour regional seed orchards, seed processing facilities, and seedling nurseries operated by the State of Montana, the USDA Forest Service, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and private companies.
This educational opportunity attracts undergraduate and graduate students with interests in forest management, wildland restoration, and international conservation and development. At Memorial Greenhouse we also host visits from community groups concerned with natural resources, allowing us to communicate the role of the AFMP in advancing the stewardship of natural resources in the State of Montana and beyond.
We are a member of the Forest Seedling Network, an online seedling marketplace.
See our current stock availability at: http://www.forestseedlingnetwork.com/.
Advance orders are preferred. Contact us to learn how we can grow seedlings for your reforestation project.