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In 1996 a questionnaire on seedling production and use of pesticides was sent to 33 forest nurseries in Finland. Twenty-eight nurseries answered the questionnaire; thus the survey covered about 80% of the Finnish production of forest seedlings. According to this study, the Finnish nurseries together are using about 1000 kilograms of pesticides (as active ingredient, a.i.) annually. The most used herbicide was terbutylazine (Gardoprim-Neste®), and half of the total amount of fungicide used was chlorothalonil (Bravo 500®). Three fourths of the insecticide products had permethrin as the active ingredient. The nurseries applied, on average, 1.7 kg pesticides (a.i.)/ha annually, although the amount varied considerably between nurseries. In production of container seedlings the highest mean amounts of pesticides were applied to pine seedlings (9.5 kg/ha) and the lowest to spruce seedlings (0.9 kg/ha). To the fields of bareroot seedlings the nurseries applied, on average, 3.9 kg pesticides (a.i.)/ha. Mean amounts of pesticide (a.i.) per 1000 seedlings grown in containers were almost the same for birch and pine production, 1.6 and 1.7 grams, respectively; for production of spruce seedlings the comparable values were less than 0.5 grams. For production of bareroot seedlings the nurseries used about four times more pesticides than for container seedlings.
The Finnish Forest Research Institute, Suonenjoki Research Station, FIN-77600 Suonenjoki, Finland