Thermo King helps
Nebraska National Forest
safely transport seedlings
Jan 9, 2010 3:27 PM
The Nebraska National Forest began in 1902 as an experiment to produce trees and plant them in what is now the largest human-made forest in the United States. The adjacent—and simultaneously formed—Charles E Bessey Nursery was the producer and supplier of the seedlings. Located about one mile west of Halsey NE in the center of the state, the nursery has established a reputation for producing quality planting stock due to its deep sandy soils, abundant water, and relatively long growing season.
Thermo King Christensen of Omaha recently won a federal contract to supply a reefer trailer that will safely transport the nursery’s product, which totals approximately 184,000 seedlings per trailer-load, to other state, federal, and local government agencies across the United States.
The trailer, with SB-210 reefer, has joined the nursery’s state-of-the-art production facilities and other equipment. The Charles E Bessey Nursery is capable of producing 4.5 million bareroot conifer and hardwood seedlings. Current production is 2.5 million seedlings. The nursery serves as the bareroot seedling nursery for the Rocky Mountain Region and as a source for container-grown seedlings. A 4,000-square-foot greenhouse provides an annual production capability of up to 380,000 seedlings.
“It has been many years since we have invested in a new trailer,” said Richard Gilbert, nursery manager. “Our old trailer was 40 feet wide and allowed us to transport approximately 154,000 trees. This new trailer—a Great Dane—will allow another 30,000 seedlings on-board. We transport seedlings every year from the spring through the fall. The extra transport space will allow us to be more efficient, and the Thermo King unit will ensure the seedlings arrive as they left our nursery: healthy and ready to grow.”
The nursery, named in honor of Charles E Bessey, a professor of horticulture at the University of Nebraska who envisioned a forest growing on the wide-open sandhills of Nebraska, is administered by the Nebraska National Forest and is the oldest Forest Service nursery in the National Forest System. Its mission includes developing the best possible methods for producing quality seedlings, working with cooperative forestry to demonstrate successful tree growing practices, and sharing new technology.
“We were thrilled to win this contract,” said Don Kaiser of Thermo King Christensen. “Thermo King proudly produces products that are environmentally conscious with lower fuel consumption, emissions, and noise. Our mission is a good fit with the National Forest System and the Charles E Bessey Nursery initiative and goals.”
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