At Alba, we want to produce the best Forestry trees by focusing on quality, so all our plants are cell-grown on 100% Home grown on our own nurseries.
Our cell-grown trees have several advantages over lower-quality bare rooted trees. Most of these benefits are due to how we treat the roots; cell grown trees are grown in containers so that the root system is kept complete, but bare rooted trees are grown in the ground so need their roots severed during the ‘lifting’ process. Not only do bare root trees have a large proportion of their root mass left at the nursery, the roots have been damaged just before they are sent to site.
- Cell grown trees have higher establishment rates.
- Our trees do not ‘check’ on planting so there is rapid early growth and less risk of weed competition. Bare rooted trees often take time to settle into their site as the severed roots must re-grow.
- Our containers are designed to eliminate root spiralling. We select container type according to species and carefully consider the effect of this choice on ‘lazy rooters’.
- Our packing process has been designed for careful handling of our plants and prevent root damage, which is the primary cause of poor establishment.
- Our plants remain in their growing containers until orders are called up, so we can react more easily to any unexpected delays.
- Because there is no damage to the root systems, our plants do not need to be dormant when they are planted – which allows for year round planting.
- Cell grown trees are easier to plant and require little ground cultivation.
- The introduction of cell grown trees to UK forestry in 1988 has allowed planting in areas where bare rooted trees struggle to establish.
- The root plug contains both naturally occurring mycorrhizae ( a symbiotic fungus which enhances the absorption of nutrients by the feeding root hairs) and added fertiliser.