Local Forestry

Tree seed forecasting

Red oak flowers

Trees produce flowers in the spring, but often they are so small they go unnoticed. One notices a red maple aflame with red flowers before the leaves come out and pinky red flower of the butternut. We know  to look of the male catkins of the birch and  pussy willow, one needs to look carefully for others..

It is important to plant trees where there are no trees and Trees Ontario has the remit from the Proince of Ontario to plant 50 million trees by the  year 2020. The tree nurseries need tree seeds as it is important that we plant seedlings grown from seed collected in the same region. A maple  seedling grown from seed from North Bay won't do as well as a maple grown in the south planted in the south where  the growing season is longer. If you plant a maple seedling from Niagara in North Bay it will flower earlier and get frosted.

Trees don't produce the same amount of seed every year and different trees produce different amounts of seed in different years. Some years are much better than others. This  all depends on  a  range of factors such as the growing conditions the previous summer, the amount of freezing and thawing in the winter, and late frosts in the spring.

 The time the seed collection is very short. Acorns fall and are collected by squirrels and black cherries are eaten by birds. It is important to look around an dforecast what sort of seed supply there will be in the fall. Many thing affect whether or not seeds will mature. Insects can destroy the seeds. Drought can mean seeds don't mature. You need to cut open a cone to see if there are between 8 - 15 mature seeds in it and it is worthwhile to collect them.

If you think you have found a good seed source with trees that are producing a large amount of seed, please let Tim Gray of Trees Ontario know at (613) 477-2981  or woodlandsrestorationatgmail.com. http://www.treesontario.ca

The Ontario Seed Processing Facility at Angus pays a price for a hectare litre (four bushels of seed), however you needs to take a course in seed collecting if you are going to do this to any great extent.

 Trees Ontario run workshops of seed forecasting workshops and  on seed collection certification .They can also plant trees for you if you have more than one hectare of land that hasn’t been under trees for the last 10 years. The hectare doesn’t have to be in one block. You can chose four species out of a choice of 20, but you can plant only four species in any one block.