The FGCA has some funds this year to support the National Conservation Strategy for all native ash species in Ontario (white, green, black, blue and pumpkin). We need your help to find trees with viable seed to bank ahead of the Emerald Ash Borer impact. We haven’t much time left before EAB reaches most of Ontario’s natural stands. We are also looking for trees that have survived an EAB infestation without being treated by TreeAzin.
FGCA has set up its first iNaturalist project last year to gather reports from citizen scientists. You can download the app for any smartphone or Tablet, or submit observations online for free: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/ontario-native-ash-seed-and-survivor-dna-collection
A manual observation report form is also provided at the bottom of this page and here.
The national conservation effort is lead by the National Tree Seed Centre, and FGCA has contributed training, seed and support since 2004. In 2017, the Canadian Forest Service began DNA sampling as well.
In October 2018, Melissa Spearing, FGCA’s Seed Program Coordinator, toured from Guelph to Point Pelee with Sean Fox of the University of Guelph Arboretum. We sampled 36 trees and three small seed collections, now documented on our project site. Surviving trees 10+ years after EAB infestation may hold genetic clues to genetic tolerance and help us plan reintroductions of these ecologically important species.
We are looking for:
- Trees in a native stand (not planted), i.e. forest, hedgerow. Permission to access and collect samples must be available from the land manager or landowner.
- For survivor DNA samples, we prefer larger trees (>20 cm DBH) with healthy crowns. We will cut leaf or bud samples with pole pruners or pull down samples with a throw line. Smaller trees may be considered.
- Seed must be viable and of good quality (filled embryos, low insect damage); send us a cut test photo like the one below of 20-30 seeds to judge feasibility.
Research from the US Forest Service’s Northern Research Station (Delaware, Ohio) about lingering ash can be found here: https://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/people/jkoch
Please share this post with colleagues interested in ash conservation and feel free to use the iNaturalist link to help spread the word!
Seed Program Coordinator, Forest Gene Conservation Association
Cell/Text: (416) 909-9755