Want to plant billions of trees? Invest in nurseries first.

By Brian Kittler, American Forests’ Senior Director of Forest Restoration

Kuldeep Singh, the Nursery Manager at L A Moran Reforestation Center (LAMRC) in Davis, California, inspects a conifer seedling in the shade house. Credit: Luciane Coletti / American Forests
Douglas Fur seedlings growing in the shade house of the L A Moran Reforestation Center, Davis, CA. Credit: Luciane Coletti / American Forests

THE BARRIERS

While most nurseries said they are very willing to expand, serious issues make it hard for them to do so. Chief among these are an inadequate workforce and lack of contracts of sufficient size and duration to warrant investments in scaling up. The bulk of nursery work is seasonal. Most nurseries rely on migrant workers to fill these temporary jobs. Nurseries also struggle to find skilled, full-time employees, especially as many nursery managers and experts near retirement.

THE WAY FORWARD

A gloved hand uses tweezers to pick something out from around a small seedling.
A gloved hand uses tweezers to pick something out from around a small seedling.
Yvonne Holman uses a pair of tweezers to clean out unwanted plant matter from around young Western White Pine trees. Credit: Chris Celentano/CDC Photography / American Forests

American Forests inspires and advances the restoration of forests, which are essential to life.

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