As mentioned in the previous blog, we have teamed up with the UNBC Enhanced Forestry Lab to grow some larch and cedar seedlings for planting out on the research forest.
Seeds were planted just before Christmas and it was the larch seedlings which popped to the surface first. It has been and still is very noticeable the difference in growth between the two species.
Talking with Steve Storch (Greenhouse Curator) last week, about the cedar seedlings in particular, he commented that the cedar seedlings appeared to germinate quicker in the conventional gravel grit compared to seeds covered with “styrogrit” (made from recycled styroblocks). Steve indicated that the seeds covered with styrogrit seemed to be about 2 weeks slower than those covered with the gravel grit. He further explained that this would intuitively make sense since the styrogrit is white and reflects heat, while the gravel grit is grey and darkens up even more when wet. this likely leads to a higher temperature near the seed which is good for seed germination in general. The white reflective grit may perform better when the seedlings are bigger when we will be more concerned with how fast the blocks dry out.
Styrogrit was used with the larch seeds, on all the blocks, so there isn’t a growth comparison for that species.