Seed Collection

The Arboretum takes a very active role in seed collection, not only to help in the continued development of our grounds and collections, but also to aid in conservation efforts, both in Canada and abroad.

American Elm (Ulmus americana) seeds ready for harvest.
American Elm (Ulmus americana) seeds ready for harvest.

With over 1700 different taxa of woody plants in our collections, many of which are not commercially available, it has been very important to be able to collect seeds in order to propagate plants in our Arboretum nursery.  Each of the plants accessioned into our collections is also complemented by a set of records detailing their origin, and collecting our own seeds, along with those collected by our partners, ensures that a thorough set of provenance information can be recorded.  The more information that can be acquired upon collection, the more useful each resultant plant becomes for research and conservation purposes.

Professional arborist, Doug Steel, collecting seed from the 100+ year-old Zavitz Pines in the Arboretum
Professional arborist, Doug Steel, collecting seed from the 100+ year-old Zavitz Pines in the Arboretum

The Arboretum is also actively engaged in several conservation activities that rely on the collection and archiving of threatened woody plant species in seeds banks, botanical gardens and other allied research institutions.   Seeds are collected responsibly by our staff from naturally-occurring, wild populations of plants, as well as the seed orchards from our Rare Woody Plants of Ontario program, and archived in various locations to aid in the protection of rare germplasm.

Arboretum auxiliary members collect seed from the cherry birch (Betula lenta) seed orchard; a part of our Rare Woody Plant of Ontario Program.
Arboretum auxiliary members collect seed from the cherry birch (Betula lenta) seed orchard; a part of our Rare Woody Plant of Ontario Program.