A new set of seed orchards on its way
By 2030, the Flemish government of Belgium wants to increase its current forest acreage by 10,000 ha. The plants used for this expansion, originate from registered harvest locations filled with certified forestry material. Due to the big demand, there are multiple species for which the supply of seeds is lacking. To solve this problem the Agency for nature and forests of the Flemish Government (ANB) and the Research Institute of Nature and Forest (INBO) set up a cooperation.
During this project, the existing network of seed orchards will be examined to check which measures needed to be taken for optimal seed production. Next to the examination, new material will be produced for the establishment of new seed orchards together with the forest tree growers. Currently, small-leaved lime, large-leaved lime, bird cherry, European spindle, blackthorn, quaking aspen, field maple and alder buckthorn are being propagated. For these prioritized species, it was decided to establish multiple new seed orchards.
The INBO is currently busy with the propagation of existing seed orchards via hard and soft wood cuttings as well as grafts. The new material will be planted in new seed orchards at the end of the project, so the growers in time can harvest at these new locations.
Image above: Graft of the small-leaved lime (Picture: Hannes Wilms; INBO)