Impulsar la tala de bosques con nueva tecnología

Losses of unrooted cuttings are severe for many forestry companies. OptiBoost for cuttings – an application based on vacuum infusion technology has shown great results in increasing the survival rate of unrooted cuttings, especially Eucalyptus and Corymbia cuttings. Read more about how it works below.

The challenges of planting trees from cuttings

There are several challenges that can arise when planting trees from cuttings. 

One of the main challenges is getting the cuttings to root successfully. Losses of unrooted cuttings are severe for many forestry companies and the best clones often have the biggest challenges with rooting and survival.

On top of this one must maintain the right level of moisture, fight disease and Pests, and provide a good balance of light, moisture and shade for the cuttings, and more. All these conditions must be controlled in the early stage which is 30 to 60 days depending on the location. In this early stage most losses happen either due to the failing with given roots or due to losses from Botrytis /fungal diseases.

However, there are plenty of advantages to growing trees from cuttings versus from seeds. With cuttings, a faster start to cultivation can be achieved, as in fact, it is already a small plant. Compared to seeds, cuttings, thus, have a shorter growth period, which generally means that you can harvest faster.

In conclusion, the grower knows that a tree grown from a cutting will be an exact clone, ensuring quality and creating a predictable outcome, which is not the case when you use seedlings.

The OptiBoost for Cuttings application aims to erase the challenges surrounding the cultivation of cuttings, with proven results for Eucalyptus, Corymbia cuttings, y Acacia cuttings, more and more forestry companies are eager to test the technology.

OptiBoost® - technology in forestry boosting Eucalyptus cuttings

OptiBoost for cuttings is an application based on Vacuum infusion technology. By treating cuttings, such as Eucalyptus, Corymbia or Acacia, with VI several advantages are obtained, for example:

  • Increased survival rate and decreased loss rate
  • Improves rooting quality
  • Indicative results of accelerated rooting
  • Increases rooting rate
  • Indicative results to accelerate growth after planting
  • Decrease of botrytis in the early stage (60 days)
  • Better quality
  • Capacity increase

After several tests and trials in the lab environment, the first prototype was tested in the field. In 2021 a pilot trial with the prototype was conducted in South Africa for the treatment of Eucalyptus cuttings, showing very good results. Another pilot trial was conducted in South America that confirmed the good results. 

The results showed that there are numerous benefits for the forest industry generated by the OptiBoost method including better rooting, stronger branching, more surviving plants, and fewer losses.

Therefore, an application better tailored to the needs of the forest industry and adjusted for cuttings was developed. A smaller unit called FC1, with a capacity for treating 30 000 cuttings/h.

Average Survival/Loss for control plants.

46%

Average Yield Increase

Average Survival/Loss for plants treated with OptiBoost. Planted in the same environment as the control plants.

Example of results from pilot evaluation in South Africa 2021.

OptiBoost FC1 - Boosting technology for the forest industry

FC1 is a smaller unit compared to the CF1, used for cut flowers. But, it is based on the same technique – vacuum infusion or impregnation (VI). The SAGA unit is placed in – or close to –  the nursery, and unrooted cuttings are placed in the treatment chamber. After cuttings are harvested they are placed in the Saga chamber to be treated for 30 sec and then further to the planting facility. In other words – cuttings treatment is an intermediate process! Features and functions include:

  • Remote support
  • IoT
  • User-friendly- extremely easy to manage
  • Capacity of 30 000 cuttings/h
  • High-precision steering of protocols
OptiBoost FC1 is the name of the application for treatment of cuttings. Cuttings are placed in the treatment chamber and as the lid is closed they're exposed to vacuum and impregnated with a nutrient solution

How the OptiBoost for cuttings technology works

El vacuum impregnation machine contains water with a nutrient solution developed using nanotechnology.  

A vacuum is built up in the upper part of the chamber via vacuum pumps. When a vacuum occurs, the air in the plant’s cell walls is sucked out, and when the vacuum then releases, the nutrient solution migrates in instead of the previous air. In this way, the cell walls are filled with the water-based nutrient solution instead of air and one can see a sign of impregnation as the leaves start showing dark spots.

A vacuum cycle with impregnation takes no more than thirty seconds. Instructions for how the vacuum impregnation should be carried out are determined in the form of a so-called “recipe”, which in addition to specifying the nutrient solution used also contains instructions for the vacuum treatment. The development of these recipes is a result of work in OptiCept’s laboratory.

Below is a video illustrating how Eucalyptus cuttings are exposed to the OptiBoost treatment.

The OptiBoost technology - providing benefits for the forest industry

Of course, increasing the survival rate of unrooted cuttings can increase sustainability in the forest industry by reducing the need for harvesting mature trees for planting, which can lead to less deforestation and less disruption to natural ecosystems.

Additionally, using unrooted cuttings, which are genetically identical to the parent tree, ensures consistency in the tree population, which can be beneficial for forest management and conservation. Moreover, reforestation using unrooted cuttings can be more efficient and cost-effective compared to traditional seedling planting methods.

Better and stronger cuttings can benefit the forest industry in several ways:

  • Increased survival rate: Stronger cuttings are more likely to survive and thrive once planted, leading to faster reforestation and less need for replanting.
  • Faster growth rate: Stronger cuttings can grow faster than weaker ones, allowing for faster harvest and greater yields.
  • Cost savings: By using stronger cuttings, fewer replantings will be needed, reducing costs associated with planting and maintenance.
  • Improved genetic uniformity: Stronger cuttings are more likely to be genetically identical to the parent tree, which can be beneficial for forest management and conservation, as well as for the production of high-quality wood products.
  • Better adaptability: Stronger cuttings can be more resistant to pests, and diseases and able to adapt to different climates and soil conditions, which can help to improve the overall health of the forest.
  • Reduced dependence on wild harvesting of seedlings: Using stronger cuttings can reduce the dependence on wild harvesting of seedlings, which can help to preserve natural ecosystems and biodiversity.
  • Using OptiBoost technology helps with producing more valuable clones such as those clones rich in cellulose and lignin (usually most of them face a lot of challenges being propagated)
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