Growing Trees

A vital consideration, when planning a forest restoration project, is obtaining high quality trees for planting. Although, commercial nurseries may stock some economic tree species, they rarely grow framework trees. So, for forest restoration, growing trees in community nurseries may be the only option. Although establishing a tree nursery requires a lot of effort, it has many advantages over buying in trees from existing nurseries:

- The community controls all aspects of tree production, including species selection, quality and quantity of trees produced and production costs.
- The community takes pride in the trees produced and, therefore, takes good care of them.
- The nursery becomes a focal point for educational and social activities, which encourage greater community involvement in forest restoration projects.
-Community tree nurseries can be established close to planting sites, so transportation costs and damage to the trees when moving them are minimized.

When any group of people starts a tree nursery, a lot more happens than just the
production of trees. The community spirit is strengthened, social relationships develop and participants learn as much about each other as they do about trees and forests. In this Part, we present the basic skills and knowledge needed to produce mixed crops of framework tree species in small-scale nurseries, of the kind that can be easily managed by a community or by the staff of a protected area. Although the techniques described have been scientifically tested in northern Thailand, they are probably suitable for neighbouring regions, especially with some experimentation to adapt them to local conditions.