Introduction: In response to extensive tree mortality by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), more about the EAB, ash seeds are being collected for long term storage to preserve genetic resources of the ash species. This has been a combined effort of the Agricultural Research Service and the Forest Service along with NRCS, BLM, and over 50 cooperators. The overall goal, of the collections, was to obtain 50 trees per Omernik ecoregion level III (link to ecoregion map) where a particular species occurred (link to plan). An ecoregion is a region of like environmental conditions and would represent trees adapted to those ecological conditions. Collections are to be evenly spaced across an ecoregion. Amounts collected per tree generally range from 2 to 10 quarts (2,000 to 10,000 CC) or 2,500 to 12,500 seeds.
Help Save the Ash: Although little can be done to save most of the ash trees alive today, their adapted genetics can be preserved through this long term seed storage program. Cooperators are needed to both find trees with seeds and make seed collections. The “Seed Collection Resources” below describe how to do both. Training to use the “Seed Collection Resources” will be made available through local events or electronically.
Ash Genetic Conservation Plan
Status Report on Fraxinus Genetic Preservation Seed Collections July 2013
Seed Collection Resources
Seed Collection Data Form
Step by Step Collection Instructions (a power point presentation)
Ash Collection Video (action of using the big shot sling shot and more)
Methods for Collecting Ash (Fraxinus spp.) Seeds