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tree on desk

Study shines new light on young tree seedlings

The first few weeks of a tree seedling’s life can be the most precarious.

As it pushes thin new roots into the ground it’s also reaching up with tiny new leaves. Water and energy are precious. Most seedlings never make it past their first month on the ground.

But while much is known about the growing process, there remains a layer of mystery around the mechanisms within these small plants. Now, a new study by a University of Georgia researcher sheds some light on the microscopic tissues that help tree seedlings grow. The results could change how researchers and growers view the first weeks of a tree’s life.

“I’ve been working on newly germinated seedlings for 20 years, and I feel this is one of the first breakthroughs for me about how different they are, even from a 20-week-old seedling,” said Dan Johnson, an assistant professor of tree physiology and forest ecology at the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. “It’s these first few weeks of life that seem to be fundamentally different.”

Read the full story on the UGA news website.


Associated Personnel:

Dr. Dan Johnson

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