Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Carolyn Pike; Kevin Potter; Paul Berrang; Barbara Crane; Joanne Baggs; Laura Leites; Tom Luther
    Date: 2020
    Source: Journal of Forestry
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Southern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.0 MB)


    Reforestation and restoration efforts have traditionally relied on “local” seed sources as planting stock. The term “local” has different meanings in different locales, since no single set of seedcollection zones has yet been widely adopted across the eastern United States. Given concerns about mitigating the effects of climate change, forest managers are increasingly seeking to move seed sources in a process called assisted migration, which would be facilitated if a common set of seed-collection zones were available. We developed a map of 245 seed-collection zones for 37 states by combining two ecologically important layers: plant hardiness zones and ecoregions. These new seed-collection zones should be used by seed collectors and nurseries to describe the origin of seed for plants and trees in the eastern United States. Common garden studies remain the gold standard for determining how far to move seed from any particular seed-collection zone. For species that have not been field-tested, seed movement that is limited either within a seedcollection zone or between adjacent seed-collection zones is a reasonable general guideline.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Pike, Carolyn; Potter, Kevin M; Berrang, Paul; Crane, Barbara; Baggs, Joanne; Leites, Laura; Luther, Tom. 2020. New Seed-Collection Zones for the Eastern United States: The Eastern Seed Zone Forum. Journal of Forestry. 9(2): 271-.


    Google Scholar


    Seed-collection zone, seed transfer, assisted migration, plant-hardiness zones, ecoprovinces

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page