Tests available

Tests available

 

 

Test type

Physical

Physiological

Sample size

(Minimum No. of plants)

Time for report
(working days)

Cost per

sample

2014 (£)****

Shoots

Roots

Shoots

Roots

1

Root electrolyte leakage (REL) *

x

x

x

Yes

10

2

55

2

Shoot electrolyte leakage (SEL) *

x

x

Yes

x

10

2

55

3

Root moisture content (RMC) **

x

x

x

Yes

15

4

75

4

Root growth potential (RGP)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

15

14 to 21

Please call ***

5

Shoot/root frost tolerance

x

x

Yes

Yes

15

14 to 21

Please Call ***

6

Morphology- Height, RCD, usability **

Yes

x

x

x

15

1

170

7

Morphology- Root:shoot ratio **

Yes

Yes

x

x

15

4

110

* Can use the same 10 sample trees for REL and SEL tests. ** Can use the same 15 sample trees for morphology and RMC tests.

*** Laboratory costs for tests 4 or 5 are dependant on the number of samples to be tested at the same time, please call to discuss.

**** VAT will be charged at the prevailing rate

How we use the test results

Morphological values are compared with an industry standard (BS3936 part 4). Plant usability is also scored; this identifies stock which should have been culled at the nursery.

Root electrolyte leakage (REL) values correlate strongly with plant survival and height growth. Actively growing or damaged plants have higher values than dormant or undamaged plants.

We use shoot electrolyte leakage (SEL) to assess the likely loss of needles after planting. Plants with high leakage values may suffer browning, needle loss or bud death.

Frost tolerance measurements accurately indicate dormancy and the plant's ability to survive cold/freeze storage or cold planting site conditions.

We analyse data from all these tests to categorises samples into one of three 'quality' ratings. Our categorisation gives a simple indication of a plant’s expected survival. We also assess the plant’s dormancy prior to lifting. Fully dormant plants tolerate cold stored for longer than active plants.

We recommend you test plants in cold storage at regular intervals. Our quality testing will detect any onset of physiological deterioration and help prevent unnecessary damage.

Baseline information available

We compare our plant quality test results with comprehensive baseline quality data, acquired over 20 years of applied research. Our scientists have develop robust models of plant health and growth for a wide range of tree species.

Conifer species

Broadleaved species

Pines
Spruce (QSS, VPSS, RSS, WSS, NS)
Douglas fir
Larches
Noble fir
Grand fir

Ash
Rowan
Oak (pendunculate and sessile)
Beech
Lime
Birch (silver and downy)
Cherry
Norway maple

We base quality ratings for minor species on data from related species and underlying general principles and known correlations.

Advisory services

Our quality tests focus on quality indicators which have demonstrated strong predictive power for post-planting health and survival. Our chemical analysis service provides deeper insights into the health of your plant stock and the quality of soil.

We can also run a range of scenario-based simulations for your woodland or forest and provide advice and recommendations on suitable management practices.

Please get in touch to discuss your specific requirements.

Sampling procedure

Please phone or email in advance of sending samples to ensure staff are available to receive and undertake testing

  • It is essential to collect a representative sample from the batch of trees concerned
  • Ensure samples contain the minimum number of trees per test, as indicated in the table above
  • Individual samples should be sealed in a polythene bag from which all excess air has been excluded
  • Bags should be clearly labelled and packed in a sturdy box to protect from damage in transit
  • A Background Information Sheet must accompany each sample bag and be completed as fully as possible to assist in the interpretation of results.
  • The package should be sent to the address above by First Class Mail or Next Day courier

What's of interest

Send your samples to:

Plant Quality Testing Service

Forest Research
Northern Research Station
Roslin
Midlothian EH25 9SY

Phone: 0300 067 5956

Email: colin.mcevoy@forestry.gsi.gov.uk

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