Tree Seed Centre

The Tree Seed Centre is the primary provider of cone and seed services to B.C.'s forest industry and B.C. government staff.

Tree Seed Centre clients include forest licensees, woodlot licensees, District and B.C. Timber Sales, seed orchards, forest nurseries, tree seed dealers, First Nations, researchers, educators and the public.

What We Do

  • Cone and seed evaluations
  • Cone receipt, storage and conditioning
  • Seed extraction and processing
  • Testing new and stored seedlots
  • Testing cones and seed in processing
  • Seedlot registration and certification
  • Seed storage
  • Seed withdrawal, preparation and shipping to clients for seedlot production, research or other purposes
  • Seedlot and process information management and reporting
  • Research and extension
  • Training and method improvement

Clients must send seed to the Tree Seed Centre for testing, registration and long-term storage if the seed is to be used to reforest Crown land and some types of privately managed forest tenures.

Seed processing and preparation services are provided by the Tree Seed Centre on a fee for service basis. Other services are provided at no charge to clients.

Clients may choose to have cones and seed processed at private extractors or have seed prepared for sowing at nurseries.


All seed destined for Crown land reforestation must be registered. Requirements for natural stand, seed orchard and non-B.C. seedlots are legislated in the Chief Forester's Standards for Seed Use.

Conifer tree seed needs to be stored under optimal conditions. B.C.'s inventory includes an operational component used for reforestation and a contingency for catastrophic losses. It also includes a dedicated seed bank for gene conservation. The Tree Seed Centre's seed storage area also manages the dynamic inventory (seed sales and transfers) and ensures the seedlot balances are accurate.

Seed is primarily requested for reforestation (sowing requests), and the Tree Seed Centre also facilitates distribution of seed for research and other purposes. Requests are either sent dry or pretreated at our facility.

Testing uses standardized sampling, testing and evaluation practices to quantify seedlot attributes. Seedlot results are available for moisture content, purity, germination, seeds per gram, and possibly fungal assays. The Tree Seed Centre's testing area also plays a vital role in quality assurance and research.

Processing involves detailed seedlot evaluation, cone conditioning, seed extraction from cones (cone processing) and  removal of debris and non-viable seed (seed processing).

The Tree Seed Centre conducts applied and basic research on tree seed, and it constructs and summarizes quality assurance programs and performs education, extension and communication activities.