Want to learn more about seed sources? Here are some frequently asked questions.
Q: What is a Seed Production Area (SPA)
A: A large number of healthy trees of good growth that can be managed to increase the number
and quality of seed crops. Management can include thinning the stand so that trees can maintain
good crowns and lots of flowering sites. As well as creating good access so that crop forecasting
and collection can be readily done.
Q: What is a Seed Orchard (SO)
A: A known source of superior genetic quality with good diversity- usually part of a tree breeding
program where a genetic gain for a particular trait can be proven via. progeny testing; and the high costs of management are warranted by seed demand. There are two types of SO:
- Clonal Seed Orchards- many (100s) selected trees are cloned via. grafting or cuttings
- Seedling Seed Orchards- seed from many (100s) selected trees are collected and planted
Q: What generates the best seed?
A: Its important to know that all sources of seed, including natural collections can produce poor
quality seed if the ideal conditions are not met or few individuals are contributing to the seed crop.
Hierarchy of seed sources:
- Seed Orchards- trees selected for desired traits (growth, resistance, structure, etc.)
- Seed Production Areas- planted or managed for seed production
- Natural stands- sustainably managed forests that are healthy
The FGCA is working with its partners and members to develop and influence the development of these seed sources for climate change adaptation, and species at risk recovery efforts. Become a member today to be a part of these initiatives.
To learn more about seed sources and their role in restoration, reforestation in Ontario, get in touch with us. When collecting seed follow our Woody Plant Seed Collection Guidelines for a changing climate.