Seed zones are geographic subdivisions of the Province of Alberta and are based on general genetic criteria. They limit seed movement to a conservation area where native trees of all species can be moved without risk of mal-adaption or erosion of genetic integrity. Alberta is divided into 90 seed zones.
Seed zones and rules on how plant propagules and seed are used on public lands are described in the Alberta Forest Genetic Resource Management and Conservation Standards.
Seedlings from all species with woody stems (i.e. trees or shrubs) must be grown using seed or propagules collected from the seed zone where they will be planted.
The practical implication is that unless the required seed is commercially available, a project must budget time for collection of seed or plant propagules from the correct seed zone. Time collecting or sourcing seed is in addition to growing and planting the seedlings. Please click here for more information on ordering timelines.
Following seed zone legislation is not only legally required, it is biologically required to ensure that seedlings are adequately adapted to the reclamation site. By obeying the seed zone legislation, the seedlings you plant will be genetically adapted to the climate, latitude, elevation, and location of your reclamation site. This translates into better survival and success of your reclamation stock.
Tree Time Services has one of the most extensive seed banks in the Province of Alberta, encompassing several common tree species across a number of seed zones. We also provide seed collection services for all woody species and forbs throughout Alberta. Please contact us if you require seed sourcing or collection services.