TreeTape
-Transforming Transplanting

Beautification

 

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Lawn Service

 

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Tree Trimming

 

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Main Features

TreeTape is a revolutionary new way of growing forestry tree seedlings and transplanting.


We have taken the very latest technology from the vegetable growing industry and adapted it to produce tree seedlings for forestry nurseries.


Our accelerated growing system gives the greatest number of seeds form each kilo of seed the ability to germinate and grow, all within the security of a biodegradable paper tape which is then field planted using an automated planting machine which is unrivalled in its flexibility and productivity. 


In 2017 PlantTape Inc. launched their automated transplanting technology into commercial horticulture. It is now fully proven and rapidly expanding into many areas of field vegetable production. We are licenced by PlantTape Inc. to develop and trial the PlantTape growing system for forestry use.

More efficient use of seed
Optimum germination environment
Protected growing environment
Automated transplanting
Improved final plant uniformity
Reduced herbicide requirement

Shorter growing cycle

An end to soil sterilisation

Reduced labour requirement

No single use plastic sheeting
1 million seedlings planted per day
Planting in optimum soil conditions
Precision plant spacing

More responsive to demand change


Production Outline

Seeds


TreeTape is most suited to small seeded forestry species that have a high germination percentage.


Our first trials are with Sitka Spruce and Lodgepole Pine; seedlots with the highest germination percentage have been chosen to minimise the number of cells without a seedling.


Further trials this year will include other pine and spruce species as well as Douglas Fir. Small seeded broadleaves such as birch, alder, rowan, willow, poplar and hawthorn and many others are also thought to be suitable.

The Tape


The tape is at the heart of this revolutionary transplanting system. It is comprised of pockets of coir and peat sandwiched between layers of biodegradable paper tape to form a continuous ribbon of cells.


Differing paper formulations allow for varying tape life. For conifer production a tape with a lifespan of up to 16 weeks is needed due to their slow, early growth. For broad-leaved trees a tape with a much shorter lifespan can be used because their initial growth is more rapid


Each set of 810 cells is contained within a sturdy reusable plastic tray with an open mesh base to allow for effective air pruning.

Sowing


Seeds are sown into the side of the uncut tape blanks before being held in place with a little vermiculite before a layer of carrier paper is stuck on to securely hold the sown seed in place.


The sowing process is rapid and fully automated with over 300,000 tape cells sown each hour.


Sown tape can be wetted immediately to begin the germination process or dry in cold storage for germinating later.


Growing


For conifer species the wetted tape will be refrigerated in cold storage for a short time. This allows for the seed dormancy to be broken down and helps to synchronise the germination to obtain the maximum number of seedlings.


The trays are then placed in a glasshouse suspended off the floor to allow for air pruning of the roots.


After 10-12 weeks in these optimum growing conditions they are moved outside for several weeks to acclimatise them to outdoor conditions.


Transport


Specially designed transport boxes are filled at high density with the trays of growing seedlings.


The transport boxes are then loaded onto lorries to take them from the seedling production glasshouses to the nursery fields where they will be planted out for an additional 12-18 months until they have grown large enough to be ready for forest planting.


Each transport box holds over 50,000 seedlings and 28 boxes (1.41 million cells) will fill an flatbed lorry.


Once empty all trays and transport boxes are returned to the sowing line to be thoroughly cleaned and then re-used.


The Planting Machine


The ability to plant around 1,000,000 seedling trees with only 2 operators in a standard working day makes the work rate of the PlantTape transplanting machine unrivaled anywhere in the world


As the ribbon of tape is fed through the planting mechanism it is cut into individual segments that can be placed with exact precision at almost any desired spacing. This unique versatility enables the differing growth needs of individual species and the length of the crop

cycle to be fully accommodated.


We can plant into any soil type except for very stony

ones. It is best to plant into well consolidated stale

seedbeds where the first flushes of weeds have already

been germinated and been removed and the soil has

good water holding capacity.


Growing on


Irrigation must be available following planting until the seedling roots have knitted into the nursery soil.


The seedlings need to be kept free of weeds either by methods of soil cultivation or by using herbicides.



It is anticipated that at the end of the growing period the final plants will have greater uniformity than is achieved using current standard practices. It is also possible to vary the seed sowing date to in order to influence the height of the final crop.


Trials


Large scale seed sowings and extensive field planting trials of Sitka Spruce and Lodgepole pine totalling over 4,500,000 tape units are already underway for 2020. Once these trials have been successfully concluded later this year we will begin the commercialisation of TreeTape for 2021

Development.

Lodgepole Pine seedling 14 days after field planting as a 7 week seedling

Lodgepole Pine seedlings 30 days after field planting as 7 week seedlings showing a mass of fibrous root with not taproot development.

The paper tape will fully degrade within 12 months of field planting