So what would happen to your Fraser fir if you transplanted to the field in mid to late summer instead of spring? Would the seedling get a head start for next season's growth? Or would transplant shock and heat stress kill it? Dr. John Frampton, the Christmas tree geneticist at NC State is trying to find out. Based on some outplanting methods learned from European growers, Frampton has designed an experiment to test late outplanting with Fraser, Turkish, and Nordmann fir.
For the experiment, transplants from each species will be planted at regular intervals from May through October on the same sites under similar conditions to see how the seedlings react. IPM Technicians Doug Hundley and Brian Davis, and Watauga County Extension Director Jim Hamilton are assisting with the research. Hopefully this research can tell us more about the transplanting thresholds or windows for outplanting Fraser fir and maybe allow growers to get a head start on field production.