Nursery Substrates: Woodgro

Associated Faculty: Robert Wright


Research is being conducted at the UHC to develop a plant growing medium for greenhouse and nursery crops from ground pine trees (see the Woodgro website). Producing a pine tree substrate (PTS) is a totally different approach to container substrate production in that a new material is created for use as a container substrate rather that mining peat (a non-renewable resource) or using a by-product of another industry such as pine bark or coconut coir. Whole (Pinus taeda) pine logs, are chipped and the chips further ground to produce PTS designed to meet specific substrate requirements (porosity, water holding capacity, etc.) for a wide variety of plant genera and plant sizes at an affordable cost. A wide variety of woody and herbaceous crops have been shown to grow well in PTS. These plants also grow well when transplanted into the landscape or kept in indoor environments. This research is on-going with attention being given to understanding plant fertilizer needs when grown in PTS as well as determining level of microbial activity in PTS related to nitrogen transformation. Other studies deal with determining the most economical way to produce PTS for the industry. Please contact Robert Wright, wrightr@vt.edu or view the above web site for more information.


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