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Development of seed zones for the Eastern United States: Request for input and collaboration!Author(s): Carrie C. Pike; George Hernandez; Barbara Crane; Paul Berrang
Source: In: Sniezko, Richard A.; Man, Gary; Hipkins, Valerie; Woeste, Keith; Gwaze, David; Kliejunas, John T.; McTeague, Brianna A., tech. cords. 2017. Gene conservation of tree species—banking on the future. Proceedings of a workshop. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-963. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. p. 30.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (156.0 KB)
DescriptionArtificial regeneration is necessary for meeting a variety of management objectives following timber harvests and other disturbances. While foresters use ecological classification to identify the most appropriate species to plant on a particular site, they generally use seed zones to identify the most suitable seed source of that species to plant. Seed zones have been utilized by public and private sector nurseries for many years in the western United States, but have not been accepted by nurseries for the eastern United States, corresponding to 33 states defined by the National Forest System as Regions 8 (Southeast United States) and 9 (Northeast United States). The national forests (NFs) in the Northeast and Southeast have historically used their own set of seed zones to define where the seed was collected to ensure that seed will be collected from appropriate areas to plant on NF lands. Similarly, state nurseries define their own seed zones to meet their needs. A common set of seed zones would facilitate the exchange of seed and seedlings among government agencies, seed brokers, nurseries and private landowners.
Seed zones have been developed for the Southeast United States, notably Ron Schmidtling’s Southern Pine Seed Sources Guide (Schmidtling, R.C. 2001. Southern pine seed sources. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-44. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 25 p). Provenance trials for numerous species lacked robust sampling to generate genetically-based seed zones in the Northeast. Efforts to regionalize seed zones have failed to gain traction in the eastern United States for two main reasons. Firstly, the majority of land is privately-held and there is a fear that common seed zones would create a burden for growers and landowners. Secondly, the need for seed zones has been perceived, by some, as unnecessary because of the low levels of topographical relief in the eastern United States.
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CitationPike, Carrie C.; Hernandez, George; Crane, Barbara; Berrang, Paul. 2017. Development of seed zones for the Eastern United States: Request for input and collaboration! In: Sniezko, Richard A.; Man, Gary; Hipkins, Valerie; Woeste, Keith; Gwaze, David; Kliejunas, John T.; McTeague, Brianna A., tech. cords. 2017. Gene conservation of tree species—banking on the future. Proceedings of a workshop. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-963. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. p. 30.
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