Over the last few months, the Ashcroft/Cache Creek Homeschoolers have been taking a four-part tour of the SilvaGro Tree Nursery near Walhachin. One of the things the kids learned was that the Juniper Beach Nursery can successfully grow 29,000,000 to 30,000,000 saplings every year.
The first trip to the nursery was in May, when the kids got a tour of the whole property and they sowed blocks of lodgepole pine, spruce, and larch seeds. The next trip was in July, when they returned and were able to see how much their trees had grown. They were also able to learn about things such as tree attributes, growth rate, tree size, and sun and soil preferences.
Their third trip was in September, when SilvaGro hosted a delicious barbecue meal for the kids and their families. The kids were shocked to see how much their trees had grown since May. They watched the machinery extract the seedlings from their blocks, learned about the conveyor system and how the workers have to sort out the trees that do not make the cut, and wrapped groups of 15 trees together to take home. They children will plant some trees in their own yards, as well as in some of the burned areas around town.
In November the kids will go back for the fourth and final part of the tour, where they will be able to see the tree harvesting in action; the busiest time of year for the tree nursery. Employees will be busy extracting the trees and packing them up to ship north to Quesnel for cold storage.
The SilvaGro Juniper Beach nursery successfully grew its first crop of 3.5 million 1+0 spring plant pine seedlings in 2002. The nursery was constructed in order to produce low cost, high quality spring plant pine seedlings. The exceptional climate allows all the seedlings to be outdoor grown, and the high light levels and low humidity of the site promote healthy, well-balanced seedlings.