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The Seed We Use: Part I. What We Need to Know About It

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Abstract:

The large amount of forest tree seeding and planting being done and in prospect for some time to come will require continuing large quantities of tree seed. It seems logical that the best seed obtainable should be used. Research and experience in Europe, North America, and Asia have shown that satisfactory artificial regeneration requires the use of well adapted seed sources of the right species on the right site. So far as possible all tree seed used should be true to name, of good physical quality, reliably identified as to geographic and elevational seed origin, and clearly designated as to probable or proved genetic improvement over the general run for the species. Although experience is lacking, reliable identification of tree seed origin will increase the cost of the seed to the buyer, probably from $1 to $10 per pound, because the identifier as a minimum will have to (1) determine that a crop is available, (2) inspect the collector's practices during the harvest, (3) check that the collector maintains identity and purity during cone shipment and extraction and seed storage, and (4) must affix evidence or identification to the seed before shipment and document his actions. Although the extra cost per pound of seed may seem considerable, the seed certification cost per acre planted or seeded should not exceed $5 and for such widely planted species as Douglas-fir, red pine, and slash pine should be well below $1. It seems certain that the identification of seed source and the certification of genetic quality of forest tree seeds are attainable at reasonable cost, and one that the seed buyer should look upon as an investment in insurance.

Document Type: Journal Article

Publication date: March 1, 1963

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.
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