The Forico Nursery is one of Australia’s most sophisticated containerised forest nurseries and remains an enviable model for other forest companies in Australia.
The nursery has the capacity to produce 18 million seedlings annually and grows commercial and native seedlings for internal use and external clients in Tasmania and South East Mainland Australia.
The nursery employs experienced horticulturists that protect this vital component of Forico’s supply chain. Quality seedlings are critical to establishing the new tree crop following harvest—a key driver to Forico’s sustainability objectives.
The nursery is located on McKays Road in Somerset, 5 kilometres west of Burnie. This coastal location provides optimum growing conditions at low energy cost and provides hardy seedlings ready for deployment in our forests each spring.
The nursery has always had a strong emphasis on best practice techniques. Once the seed is sown the innovative nursery design allows the seed cell to pass through the entire nursery system without once being lifted—another key OH&S achievement.
The Nursery process:
- Seed is collected from Forio’s advanced seed orchards and categorised for deployment to specific sites.
- Detailed forest planning forecasts seedling requirements ahead of harvest and ensures nursery sowing programs are tailored to the exact environments to be planted the following spring.
- Seeds are sown automatically using advanced vacuum seeding technology and under the experienced eye of our team.
- Seeds sown in their new cell are moved to the glasshouse for three to four weeks where they are provided optimum germination conditions.
- Once germinated, seedlings are moved to the shade house for a gentle transition to the outside world. They will generally be in the shade house for a month depending on production constraints.
- Seedlings are then moved to the stand out area where they are fully exposed to nature’s elements but nurtured with advanced irrigation and nutrition.
- After some 10 to 12 months in the care of nursery team the seedlings are dispatched through a rigorous quality assurance regime that ensures every tree planted in the field is of the highest quality.
- Our forest operations team ensure the seedlings are planted within 48 hours of being packed at the nursery.