Smoky Lake Forest Nursery

Growing native trees and shrubs for oil sands reclamation at Smoky Lake Forest Nursery

Tree Time Services is closely partnered Coast To Coast Reforestation, which has six tree nurseries. Most of our reclamation stock is grown at the Smoky Lake Forest Nursery.

The Smoky Lake Forest Nursery has been growing reclamation stock for years and has developed and improved many techniques for propagating and growing tree and shrub species specifically for reclamation.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE FACILITY

  • 9 million container seedling capacity
  • 27,000 square meters of greenhouse space
  • over 80 hectares of bareroot field space
  • greenhouse environment is 100% computer controlled
  • has Alberta’s foremost seed extraction, cleaning, and testing facility
  • produces virtually all the reclamation stock for the Alberta oil sands (1.75 million seedlings spread over 50 species of trees and shrubs in 2011)
  • produces virtually all of the stock for our retail seedling business, TreeTime.ca
  • is actively involved in its own research as well as research partnerships with Alberta's forest companies and academia

BACKGROUND

Smoky Lake Forest Nursery started operations in 1997 when they took over the Government run Pine Ridge Forest Nursery. The nursery is located 18 km east of the town of Smoky Lake, Alberta. It was built in the mid and late 1970’s by the Alberta Governments Heritage Trust Fund and has been a major producer of bareroot and containerized forest seedlings since 1978.

Smoky Lake Forest Nursery has the capacity to grow about 9 million container seedlings per year in over 27,000 sq. metres of greenhouse space and has over 80 hectares of bareroot field space.

The greenhouse space is state of the art. It is fully computer controlled with injection systems, 100% boom irrigation, asphalt floors, shade and blackout systems and more than 50% of the area has glass roofs.

In addition, the nursery has over 15,000 sq. metres of outdoor compounds, a seedling storage facility, and the only seed extraction, cleaning and testing facility in Alberta. The seed processing facilities processes almost all the conifer seed for the province of Alberta and also does deciduous trees and many species of native shrubs and other plants for reclamation use.

Although it was designed and built as a reforestation nursery to produce spruce and pine seedlings under the direction of the new operators and Coast to Coast Reforestation, it has modified its role to include many other species.

The facility now produces almost all the reclamation stock for the Oilsands production facilities of Fort McMurray, Alberta.

For Oilsands reclamation this involves growing over 50 species of native plants, including a large quantity of aspen and many shrub species with a few examples being willows, alder, saskatoons, pincherries, chokecherries, cranberries and blueberries. Also included in the stock grown for Oilsands reclamation are many wetland species such as rat root, bull rush and sedges.

Smoky Lake Forest Nursery—as a member of the New Generation Co-op of Coast To Coast Reforestation—is committed to the quality production of reforestation, afforestation, and reclamation stock far into the future.