This year’s sowing season has started at SCA’s seedling operation, NorrPlant. A total of 100 million seeds will be planted this year, and SCA’s seedlings account for approximately a quarter of all seedlings grown in Sweden.
In an almost never-ending stream, each pot in the seedling boxes receives a single seed on the automated sowing line at SCA’s Bogrundet nursery – which is the largest tree nursery in the world.
The seedling boxes hold 67 or 128 pots with seedlings, and are filled with peat before the seeds are planted one by one in the middle of each pot. The entire process is monitored by photocells so that every pot is guaranteed to contain one seed.
One million seeds a day
The sowing will continue until the end of June and SCA will sow an average of one million seeds a day at its two nurseries.
“SCA sows about 100 million seeds and accounts for approximately a quarter of all seedlings grown in Sweden,” says Kenneth Lagergren, Production Manager at Bogrundet.
The seedlings sown early in the year are kept in cold storage until April, when the growing season starts and the greenhouses begin operating. SCA has 18 greenhouses and the seedlings stay in the greenhouses for three to six weeks until they are moved outdoors to finish growing. In one season, SCA sows four sets of seedlings, with about 30 million seeds sown each time.
“Some of the seedlings we’re cultivating this year will be delivered at the end of the summer, but the majority will be delivered to forest owners in 2021. We have customers from the Uppsala district in the south all the way to Kiruna up north,” says Thomas Vestman, SCA’s Nursery Manager, and continues:
“This is the first year we will deliver spruce seedlings to Estonia and Latvia. It is our largest seedling, SuperPot, which we have grown in newly designed pots. SuperPot is ideal for land with substantial vegetation stress, when agricultural land is to be replanted or as part of auxiliary planting when you need to support rejuvenation work.”
High growth rate
SCA’s seedlings are of the highest quality and are grown using the best seed material in the market.
“Our cultivated seedlings produce 20–25% better growth compared with natural rejuvenation. They produce a forest that grows well and forest also helps to counteract climate change as growing forests bind carbon dioxide.
Photo: Michael Engman and Per-Anders Sjöquist