New cold storage facility for seedlings at Bogrundet nursery

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A gigantic wooden freezer. That is how you can describe the new building at SCA’s Bogrundet nursery in Timrå. Here, a few million frozen seedlings are stored, awaiting delivery when spring comes. “More and more customers are interested in frozen seedlings delivered in corrugated board boxes, so this is an important complement in order to provide the best service to our customers,” says Anders Tolblad, Department Manager at Norrplant and in charge of the construction of the new cold storage facility.

SCA's seedling operation NorrPlant's new cold storage facility covers an area of 750 square meters and spans two areas. The walls are made of 200 mm thick cross-laminated timber. At full capacity, the building can hold around 8 million seedlings, pre-packaged in corrugated board boxes.
“We freeze our bigger seedlings, mainly SuperPot, but also JackPot to some extent. The tree species we freeze are spruce, pine and larch. The temperature is minus 4-6°C throughout the building, and the seedlings remain here until the delivery starts in March-April,” says Anders and continues:

“We have used the most environmentally friendly freezing technology available. If the demand increases, it is relatively easy for us to expand the facility, since it is prepared for this eventuality.”

At present, the frozen seedlings are a small part of SCA’s annual seedling production, which totals more than 100 million seedlings.

“We see frozen seedlings in corrugated board boxes as an alternative way to deliver seedlings. But we will also continue to deliver most of our seedlings in trays that are handled in large racks, and are delivered by truck or picked up by trailer,” says Anders.

Increasing demand

It is mainly customers in Southern Sweden who request frozen seedlings as well as SCA’s forest operations in the Baltic states. And demand for seedlings delivered in corrugated board boxes is increasing.

“Boxes of frozen seedlings stacked on pallets are easy to transport and dispatch with different freight companies. Another advantage of this method is that the customer doesn’t need to return empty seedling trays and racks, so the entire process is very easy for the planters,” says Anders.

The work of packing and freezing seedlings is done in late autumn, when NorrPlant begins to cover its outdoor space with artificial snow.

“Here, sustainability has been in focus to make best use of our facilities. We have supplemented our Hylosafe hall, where seedlings are covered with protection against pine weevils, with a packaging line. In this way, we can use the hall most of the year, otherwise it is in use only during the seedling delivery season, usually between April and October. This feels very positive,” says Anders.

Photo: Anders Tolblad.