Dorrigo Nursery

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Factors to Consider when Collecting Seed

The site in which the seedling will be planted

  • This will allow you to collect seed from plants which have grown in similar soil type and climatic condition to where you intend planting it.
    Local indigenous species generally perform the best as they are naturally adapted to their new home.
    Seeds from the same species but different areas can have very different levels of tolerance to such things as frost and drought tolerance. It is important to try and match these characteristics.
  • The characteristics you are looking for in the adult plant

  • The final form of a tree is largely affected by its parent.
    The form of the tree from which you collect can, therefore, have a bearing on the final look of the propagated plant.
    It is therefore, important to select the seed from a tree whose form is suitable to your purpose eg timber, flower, foliage etc.
  • Genetic diversity

  • Single trees will often self pollinate, generally resulting in lower yields and the possible dominance of a single negative influence.
    To reduce the possibility of these problems it is often better to collect from trees which have neighbours of the same species and a reduced chance of self pollination.
    If possible collect from 5 or more seed plants of the same species, spread at least 100m apart to further maximise the genetic diversity
  • Timing

  • Many species will shed their seed very quickly once it has matured so it is crucial to know when and where the seed will be ripening.
    Heavy flowering will often be a prediction of high seed yield so it is good to be aware of the flowering times approaching seeding and identify the best plants then.
  • Moderation

  • Collect only as much seed as you need.
    Only 10% of the seed should ever be taken from one plant to leave a sufficient supply for the tree and other living creatures dependent on it as food source. So don't get too greedy!!!
  • Habitat

  • Take precaution when using vehicles and on foot to minimise any damage to understorey plants and be sure to leave all nesting sites, tree hollows and other fauna habitats undisturbed.
  • Disperse discarded seed

  • Harvested twigs and discarded seed capsules can be distributed along the roadsides or in areas where there is a possibility of some germination.
  • Seeking permission

  • Permission must be sought to collect native seed from:
    1. Landholders- verbally

    2. Local Government Municipalities- in writing for the collection on some roadsides and all public reserves

    3. National Parks and Wildlife Services- for collection in all national parks, historic sites, state recreation areas, nature reserves, state game reserves and aboriginal areas and for collection of protected species as defined in schedule 13 of the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974

    4. State Forests require a licence for seed collection

    5. Relevant authorities responsible for managing other lands

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