Nursery set-up

A nursery must provide ideal conditions for the growth of tree seedlings, whilst protecting
them from stresses. It should also provide a comfortable and safe place for nursery workers.

Where should a nursery be built?

A nursery site should be protected fromextremes of climate. It should be:

- Flat or slightly sloping, with good drainage (steeper slopes require terracing);
- Sheltered and partially shaded (a site protected by existing trees is ideal);
- Close to a permanent supply of clean water (but free from risk of flooding);
- Large enough to produce the number of trees required and to allow for future expansion;
- Accessible by motor vehicle for convenient transportation of young trees and supplies
- Close to a supply of suitable soil.

How much space is needed?

The size of the nursery ultimately depends on the size of the area to be planted, which in turn determines how many trees must be produced each year. Other considerations include seedling survival rates and growth rates (which determine how long plants must be kept in the nursery).

What are the essential features of a tree nursery?

A tree nursery need not be costly. Locally available materials, such as recycled wood, bamboo and palm leaves can all be used to build a simple inexpensive nursery. The essential requirements include:
- A shaded area with benches for seed germination, protected from seed predators by wire mesh;
- A shaded area where potted seedlings can be grown until ready for planting (shade should be removable to allow hardening of the young trees prior to planting);
- A work area for seed preparation, pricking-out etc;
- A reliable water supply
- A lockable store for materials and tools;
- A fence to keep put spray animals and
- A shelter and toilet for staff and visitors.