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Practical Guidelines for Producing Longleaf Pine Seedlings in Containers

James P. Barnett, Chief Silviculturist, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Alexandria Forestry Center, Pineville, LA 71360
John M. McGilvray,
Biological Science Technician, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Alexandria Forestry Center, Pineville, LA 71360

Barnett, James P.; McGilvrary, John M.  1997. Practical guidelines for producing longleaf pine seedlings in containers. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-14. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 28p.


Longleaf pine, although widely distributed in the presettlement forests of the southern Coastal Plain, now occupies less than 10 percent of its original range. It is a highly desirable species because it resists fire, insects, and disease and produces excellent quality solid-wood products. Regeneration of the species either by natural methods or by planting of bare-root nursery stock has been difficult, and renewed interest in it has resulted in evaluation of new approaches to seedling establishment. Using container stock has greatly improved the success of longleaf pine establishment. Practical guidelines are presented that will help nursery personnel consistently produce good container stock that will survive well and initiate early height growth.

Keywords: Nursery practices, Pinus palustris Mill., planting techniques, seed germination.


These guidelines are based on the current knowledge on container tree nursery management for longleaf pine. Recommendations are made using the best information available at the time and are, therefore, subject to revision as more knowledge becomes available. There is no substitute for individual experience, and recommended cultural practices should be tested and developed by local growers before implementing on an operational scale. Nursery managers will need to adapt these principles and procedures to their own nursery conditions.

The use of trade or firm names in this publication is for reader information and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture of any product or service.

This publication reports research involving pesticides. It does not contain recommendations for their use, nor does it imply that the uses discussed here have been registered. All uses of pesticides must be registered by appropriate State and/or Federal agencies before they can be recommended.

Caution: Pesticides can be injurious to humans, domestic animals, desirable plants, and fish or other wildlife—if they are not handled or applied properly. Use all pesticides selectively and carefully. Follow recommended practices for the disposal of surplus pesticides and pesticide containers.


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