Refresher for MCME Nursery Seedling-Producers

Photo: Assistant Professor. Jonathan O. Hernandez giving a lecture on macro-propagation by cuttings

A one-day training for all MCME Nursery staff entitled “Refresher on Seedling Propagation and Biological Management in Forest Nursery”  was conducted last May 30, 2024 and held at the Makiling Botanic Gardens Toyota Environment Education Theater (MBG TEET). It was participated by three (3) Nursery Supervisors and 11 Support Staff, both from MCME Central Nursery and Makiling Botanic Gardens Nursery. The refresher overview was given by MCME Director Lerma SJ. Maldia. She also shortly discussed and validated some Basic Propagation Techniques on seed collection; seed processing and treatment; seed germination; and transplanting. Macro-propagation by cuttings was discussed by Assistant Professor. Jonathan O. Hernandez where he demonstrated the preparation of  cuttings as planting material. On Nursery Monitoring and Maintenance, there were three (3) sub-topics discussed. Dr. Marilyn S. Combalicer shared the “Visual Observation for Nutrient Deficiency and Other Physiological Conditions of Seedlings in the Nursery” while Dr. Diane Joy D. Aguilon discussed and showed the “Common Insect Pests in the Nursery and their Management”. The last speaker was Dr. Jessa P. Ata who delivered “Common Seedling Diseases in the Nursery and their Management”.

Speakers who were all from the Department of Forest Biological Sciences of the College of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of the Philippines Los Baños gave their lectures through instructional demo and hands-on practice to the participants. These strategies made them attentive and participative, thus in every topic, almost all support staff was given the chance to present their group outputs in the training. Resource persons commented on the outputs and commended the staff for active participation.

Among the key takeaways from this session were: 1) Regular monitoring of nursery is very important to avoid and prevent pests and diseases; 2) Manual picking of pest individuals can be done if it is on the onset stage or few can be seen, using biological control can also be considered; 3) Proper documentation and identification of pests and diseases must be done for early detection and prevention; 4) Practicing regular sanitation and maintaining cleanliness in the nursery; and 5) Soil sterilization prior to planting will greatly help to avoid microbes that attack the seedlings. After the awarding of Certificates to Speakers and Participants, the program was graced by the closing message of Prof. Juancho B. Balatibat, the Deputy Director of MCME and Division Head of the Botanic Gardens Parks and Ecotourism Division.

By: VDBarredo

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