Seed Planning Checklist

When planning seed, you must

  • Determine your needs,
  • Determine the seed supply, and
  • Get the necessary seed.

1. Determine Needs

  • What is the regeneration obligation for which you are planning seed: harvest areas only, or harvest plus natural disturbance?
  • What is an appropriate timeframe? It is recommended that you retain at least a 3- to 5-year seed supply for your operating areas. Three years is optimal for A-Class seed when you have a seed supply agreement with the orchard. Twenty years is not uncommon, especially when accounting for severe forest disturbances.
  • What areas (forest development units) within which harvesting and planting operations will be carried out for the duration of your planning timeframe?
  • Which seed planning zones (SPZs), seed planning units (SPUs) and biogeoclimatic zones (BEC) do your forest development units fall within?
  • How many seeds do you need to plant? Calculate the probable net area (ha) to reforest by planting.
  • What is the desired species mix for planting? Calculate total estimated seedling needs (density of tree planting per hectare x hectares for each species).
  • Review recent seed use for your operating areas and compare to estimated future seedling needs. Confirm that anomalies are rationalized or adjust estimates for future needs.

2. Determine Seed Supply

  • What is the existing seed inventory of select and natural stand seedlots?
    • Use the SPAR application "Lot Search" function or "Seedlot Reports" to determine existing inventories by seed class (select or natural stand seed).

Note: You will need either a BCeID or an IDIR (government) account to access SPAR

An example of a lot search by owner agency and SPZ (note: the example shows part of a page). 

3. Acquire Required Seed Supply

  • You may be able to meet short-term seed needs by searching SPAR for available seed. If your organization does not own seed or cannot meet its own seed needs, you can search SPAR inventories by species and SPZ for surplus seed, and arrange to purchase existing surplus seedlots. If a suitable seedlot is identified but is not available as surplus, the owner may be willing to sell you a portion of the lot.  
  • What is the potential select seed production from orchards by species and seed planning unit?

Where seed orchard production provides all the seed needed for a seed planning unit, or is expected to meet the total seed need within a few years, check with the orchard owner(s) to determine availability. It is not advisable to collect large amounts of natural stand seed when orchards are projected to meet needs within the SPU, as the Chief Forester's Standards for Seed Use require the use of select seed with a Genetic Worth of five or more to be used when available.

Large natural stand collections will be redundant if orchard seed that meets the Chief Forester's Standards for Seed Use requirements comes available.