The nursery of the Primorskaya State Academy of Agriculture started the planned cutting of Christmas trees. A specially formed plantation for the fluffy beauties has about five thousand trees, up to 1.5-2.5 meters high. About one hundred Khingan firs and Ayan firs allowed for felling will decorate the houses of Primorye residents for the New Year.
In the nursery of the Primorskaya State Academy of Agriculture (PSAA), Korean cedar is mainly grown. However, there you can find rare species of trees listed in the Red Book of Russia: yew, acanthopanox and whole-leafed fir. The whole procedure of cultivation is carried out completely in the nursery, beginning with the harvesting of seeds. On the plantation, where the Christmas fir trees are now being prepared for sale, students conduct experiments, take care of trees, cultivate, fertilize, form the crown during the year. In winter, some trees are chopped down to leave more sunlight for the remainder.
The supply of the trees specially grown in nurseries to Christams markets allows sellers to meet demand in the market without resorting to the services of suppliers of trees of shady origin. Often, instead of coniferous trees allowed for cutting, you can find red book species of trees on the markets. Sellers at Christmas bazaars must necessarily have invoices, freight invoices, forestry declaration for transportation, which indicates where, when and by whom the trees were cut. The Academy’s nursery spends the money received from the sale of Christmas trees on the restoration of valuable plant species, for example, Korean cedar.
"It is known that the purchase of a Christmas spruce, grown in the nursery, is the most sparing option for the environment, as the manufacture of an artificial Christmas tree releases a fairly significant amount of harmful substances," commented director of the Primorsky branch of the Amur Tiger Center Sergei Aramilev. - Spruces or firs are not the determining species of trees for the Amur tiger and its food base, since they do not produce the seeds that ungulates eat. At the same time, their powerful crowns are able to hold a large amount of snow on their branches, so in such forests the snow cover is less than in the rest. It is easier for ungulates to live through a snowy winter in such a forest. "
Primorye forests, which play an important role in preserving the unique flora and fauna of Primorsky Krai, climate regulation, and water conservation, suffer primarily from illegal logging. The desired cull of illegal loggers is mixed cedar-broad-leaved and floodplain forests, which are the main habitat of the Amur tiger. Large-scale illegal logging in these forests, including Mongolian oak reduces the forage base of wild boar and deer, and these species form the basis of tigers’ nutrition. Artificial reforestation can be a way to solve the problem and help transform many degraded forests into livable areas.
Recall that this autumn the Amur Tiger Center handed over four tons of seeds of Korean cedar for the needs of the Academy’s forest nursery. Half of it has already been laid in trenches for a long stratification for sowing in 2016. The remain seeds will be stratified in an accelerated way for sowing in the spring of 2015.