Why nurseries are successful and why nurseries fail

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Kasten Dumroese

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The need for ecosystem restoration continues to increase, and worldwide, many ambitious initiatives, ranging in scope from local to global, are in place to contribute in response to this need. Reaching these restoration goals will require implementing a broad palette of techniques, spanning from passive to active restoration. Actively outplanting seedlings can be an important aspect of restoration, especially on the more disturbed sites. Ensuring that nurseries produce the highest-quality plant materials and that those plants become established in the field is a paramount concern. Unfortunately, all too often nurseries fail in their ability to deliver quality plants in a timely manner. The reasons for failure are numerous, but successful nurseries often share common traits, including a passion for growing plants, an understanding of the nursery’s role in the local community, an eagerness to communicate with the public as well as clients, and a management philosophy that encourages and nurtures a learning environment toward increasing plant production expertise. In particular, successful nurseries engage with their clients using the tenets of the Target Plant Concept, especially the realized need for client‒nursery sharing of expectations and results that are continually reassessed and modified based on field results. Working together, clients and nurseries are most successful when biological and societal needs are assessed and satisfied.

Resource Type:
Audio/Video, Conference Presentation, SER2019

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Society for Ecological Restoration