One of these days I went to the Tree Nursery No. 122 of the Korean People’s Army, which is leading the production of saplings in the country on the basis of scientific, industrial and intensive treatment of the growing of saplings. There I found a crowd of visitors looking round the nursery.

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– “How do you deal with the matter of temperature and humidity?” one of them asked Pak Jin Chol, a researcher of the nursery.

– “We use the integrated control system to get all necessary conditions and environment for sapling production, including temperature and humidity” – Pak replied.

A sapling packing and storage house.

A sapling packing and storage house.

From him I knew that the nursery had been laid out in a matter of several months instead of the old formula of ten szk5years, and that all optimal conditions are provided automatically for the growing of saplings, such as temperature, humidity, sunshine, carbon dioxide, ventilation, irrigation and nourishment. Looking round three glasshouses, four plasticplated greenhouses, an open-air cultivation ground and an experimental area for acclimatization, I could see different kinds of data in the greenhouses and open-air meteorological data being transmitted to the general control office, which makes necessary arrangements for the growing of saplings.

Different kinds of sprinklers and built-in-wall dripping pumps, controlled by computer, were important facilities in providing proper temperature and humidity in the greenhouses.

In the open-air cultivation area there are mobile field meteorological observation facilities, which collect all meteorological data and send them to the general control office.

The saplings in the greenhouses go through a thorough examination and treatment process. It is based on full-scale automation, equipped with such facilities as vacuum selector, gravitational selector, seed cooling and drying machine, and high-voltage DC seed treatment device, so that the husking, selecting, drying, sterilizing and stimulating jobs could be done on a flowline basis.

A sapling exhibition hall.

A sapling exhibition hall.

The light-substratum shop is also wonderful. Fed with materials easily available in the country, the production, ranging from pulverization, selection, mixing, fermentation to drying, is done on a scientific and technical footing, ensuring optimal quality of the substratum.

What is particularly interesting is the seedsowing flowline. There Ri Kyong Su, researcher from the Mining Machinery Institute of the State Academy of Sciences, explained, “We are quite attached to this seed-sowing flowline. It is completely automatic from transport of the substratum, mixing, carrying, tamping, sowing of seeds to setting of vessels. It is highly productive, and consumes much less power. We are proud of it all the more because we manufactured it with our own efforts and technology.

The shop is lined with facilities of mixing and filling the substratum, which is the primary course of the saplings production.

Made up of the automatic control division, the operation control division and the production management division, the integrated production system plays the central and core role in the overall management of the nursery.

The researchers of the nursery’s sci-tech institute, with a high sense of their leading role in the nation’s campaign of afforestation, are doing the seed-collecting and breeding work along scientific and technical lines. They make scientific analysis of nutrition of saplings and soil, and develop advanced methods of identifying and examining forest blights for adoption of special measures. Thanks to their efforts, a huge number of saplings of dozens of choice species are growing in the plain area covering scores of hectares.

A round cutting ground.

A round cutting ground.

Pak Jin Chol said, “We researchers are very proud of our work at this great nursery that is leading the country in developing the science of forestry. I’m sure we’ll be able to fulfil our duty because we have the spirit of self-development first and rely on the strength of science and technology.

Kim Un Chol