The forests of the Verkhneuralsk region start with tiny pines and firs that grow in LLC Leskhoz.
The director of Leskhoz LLC Vladimir SIZOV established the nursery eight years ago – first two hectares of land were released, then another five and now, having conquered the area from the thorny shrub – chiliga, they grow 128 species of plants.
Planting material is now being created here for the landscaping of the Verkhneuralsk region, Verkhneuralsk itself and the surrounding areas. Today it is one of the few nurseries in the Southern Urals where plants with a closed root system are grown.
Under the grass
The mother plantation meets us first – the seeds and cuttings are taken from the trees and shrubs that grow here for root sowing. These poplar alleys are also from three to five years ago they were cuttings, now the pyramidal poplars are already three meters high and can well be planted, for example, on city streets. Young bushes of berries, quinces and others grow nearby, also ready for planting.
Cuttings are not the only way: birch, pine and spruce are sown every year in the nursery soil, so that two-year-old plants can already be transplanted to the place of permanent growth. So far, the young growth “under the grass” is hidden under wooden shields – such protection helps save valuable moisture, protect from the hot sun and winds of the steppe and from birds – pests of forest crops.
Every year, 400,000 pine, birch and ash seedlings are grown at Leskhoz LLC for planting in the Verkhneuralsky and Agapovsky areas. From the collected cones, which are obtained and then certified seeds, after two years of care, the plants reach the ready planting material.
– The young seedlings definitely need weeding – the weeds are suppressed by young shoots that grow from seeds. Regular watering is also mandatory – without it, the young growth could not survive in drought conditions that last three consecutive years, – says Andrey TAGAEV, head of the production site of the Verkhneuralsk site.
From 2024, at the request of the law, all plant material should be sold only with a closed root system – so it takes root better and the forestry is trying to take this issue seriously. In the nursery, one of the first in the area built a huge greenhouse, where thousands of new Christmas trees, pines and pines are preparing for a new life. A child-friendly environment has been created here: there is stove heating, science-verified soil, coating and watering, herbicides and fungicides, sensors monitor the maintenance of a specific microclimate that will help the spruce or pine tree to go from plant to plant. for planting – eight months instead of two years.
The first crops were in late March – the cassettes with micro-pots are full of green shoots. According to the technology, the plants live in warmth and comfort for 60 days and then are sent to the point of hardening, where they will grow in conditions close to natural, in addition to adding watering and nets from the birds and sunlight. New cassettes will replace the old ones to get another crop in October. In the fall, all the kids will go to the ground.
Here, the newly planted cuttings of mountain ash, spiral and various shrubs open their buds. In the neighboring greenhouse, which is smaller, arbutus and junipers grow, rare for our areas. Vladimir Viktorovich lovingly, as if talking about children, talks about each of his pets and how to take care of them.
Drone for rescue
The work of the forestry company covers large areas – Magnitogorsk, Verkhneuralsky, Agapovsky areas. Today, Leskhoz LLC employs 60 people, whose task is the protection, conservation and reproduction of forests. These are foresters who make health cuts, take care of the forest and work in the nursery. These are employees of the pyrochemical station who observe – some with the help of cameras, others from a height, others from a tower, if there is a fire, and go out to put out fires. In almost every settlement, even a small one, there are firefighters who report if a fire occurs.
“Thanks to well-coordinated actions and great efforts, means and spirit, everything is possible to maintain and minimize the loss of the forest fund,” notes Vladimir Sizov.
To preserve the green wealth, the foresters plow coniferous young plants, burn a special barrier strip along the roads, so that the fire can not pass through the trees, although in strong winds this flame is not an obstacle. Therefore, the main hope is to raise public awareness and the readiness of all stakeholders for the firefighting season.
Bogatyrs on alert
Various thematic meetings for colleagues from the Chelyabinsk region and neighboring areas are held on the basis of forestry and the “Lesnik House” club. An international conference was also held, attended by about 70 young environmental scientists from 17 countries.
A few years ago, a landscape park with bridges, houses and, of course, beautiful plantations was placed in the territory of the nursery. People come here happily for official registrations and just to take wedding photos, people of the Upper Urals of all ages love this place. In the winter, Father Frost’s home meets the children here – the invited artists of the Magnitogorsk Theater and the foresters organize such an incendiary program that the children enthusiastically participate in the winter fun, despite the weather.
Seedlings with closed root system are plants that are initially planted in technological containers and grown in specialized greenhouses. As they grow and develop, they are transplanted into larger containers, while the root system is not destroyed.
Almost one hundred percent survival rate. Such a plant experiences minimal stress during planting, since its root system is fully formed and is not injured during planting and digging.
– The requirements for the deepening of the root collar are met, a fact that eliminates the mistakes when planting seedlings in open ground.
– Convenient transport and storage.
Possibility of planting throughout the growing season (from spring to late autumn).
– You can buy such seedlings all year round. With a little care, they will calmly wait for the landing even for several months.
– About 200 species of pine are known, 120 grow in the northern hemisphere, in Russia – about 90, the most common being the Scots pine.
– In terms of lifespan, pine is not much lower than oak; the trees are known to be about 600 years old.
In industry, pine wood is used in various fields, from construction and mining to the production of pencils.
– Pine wood is very durable. A house built of pine, with proper care, can stand for more than a hundred years.
– There are herbicides on pine needles, such as garlic or onions. Pine needle extract is also used for gout and rickets. Inhalation uses a decoction of pine needles and essential oils.
There are about a hundred species of birch on our planet. In Russia, this type of tree is one of the most common.
The average life expectancy of birches is about 100 years, although some trees live up to 400 years or more.
Skis, toys, plywood and firearms are made of birch wood. Birch protrusions – grilles are used in decorative wood carving.
Birch buds and leaves are used in medicine as an antipyretic, bactericidal, diuretic and wound healing. The bark is used to make a natural sugar substitute called xylitol.
– The ancient Siberians considered the birch a sacred tree, calling it the ladder that connected the Earth with Heaven.
Spruce lives for two or three hundred years, but some specimens live up to six hundred.
– The fibers in spruce wood are very evenly distributed, so spruce musical instruments have a very clear sound.
Fir needles, especially young ones, contain more vitamin C than lemons. Coniferous wine from spruce needles helped sailors fight scurvy.
– Fir forests have an amazing effect on the climate. In winter, the fir forest is warmer than outside and cooler in the summer heat. – Most of the paper on earth is made of fir.