Propagation Trays Designed to Increase Tree Health and Growth

VINELAND STATION, Ontario, July 7, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) is revolutionizing propagation systems for the nursery sector through a tray design supporting superior tree root growth.

There is an increasing demand for container tree seedling production – plug trays – in North America and a greater focus on higher quality root architecture. Many current propagation tray designs lead to root malformation making seedlings less robust after transplantation and increasing tree mortality.

"We've been studying this problem since 2014 and have found containers with the largest cell volume and the highest degree of exposure to air resulted in superior results," said Dr. Darby McGrath, Research Scientist, Nursery & Landscape, Vineland. "In collaboration with Kingsville-based A.M.A. Plastics Ltd. (A.M.A.), we're developing a woody perennial air-pruning propagation tray that maximizes tree growth and limits root defects."

"We are excited to partner with Vineland on this innovation. The propagation trays fit well with our strategic mandate and will help us increase our competitive edge," said Rick Bradt, Managing Director, A.M.A.

The new tray is designed for use in conjunction with the Ellepot™ system, a bounded transplantable growing medium which A.M.A. produces for North American growers. The design of the tray, for which a patent protection is pending, allows the substrate to remain essentially free floating, maximizing air flow to the root system and promoting ideal root architecture while improving overall tree performance in later stages of growth.

In spring 2017, the tray will be distributed in Canada and the United States by A.M.A. and in Europe and South America by Ellegaard A/S.

A prototype of this superior propagation tray will be on display at Cultivate'16 in Columbus, Ohio July 10-12, 2016. Visit Vineland (booth 1436) and A.M.A. (booth 1521) for more details.

About Vineland Research and Innovation Centre

With a highly-skilled research team, oversight from an independent Board of Directors, engagement from an international Science Advisory Committee and collaboration with more than 160 global partners including a Stakeholder Advisory Committee, Vineland's goal is to enhance Canadian growers' commercial success through results-oriented innovation. We are an independent, not-for-profit organization funded in part by Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. For the latest on our research and partnerships, visit

About A.M.A. Plastics Ltd.

A.M.A. is a major supplier of propagation trays in Canada. They have expanded their nursery propagation product line and now offer one of the most extensive range of products in Canada for tree and ornamental shrub propagators and growers. A.M.A. is a leader in the distribution of the Ellepot™ system. They also specialize in custom containers – labelled, printed, special colours – sourcing them around North America and Europe. Visit to learn more.

CONTACT: For more information, please contact: Cheryl Lennox, Director, Marketing & Communications 905-984-0053

Source:Vineland Researchand Innovation Centre