More on Saving Hemlocks from the Woolly Adelgid

— John Sollows

Ron Neville of Canada Food Inspection Agency, who gave April’s talk on this serious pest, gave me contacts for Donne McPhee, when I asked about banking seed.

Ron advised that the seed bank in Frederiction is at the Canadian Forest Service Atlantic office in Fredericton and there are some plans in the works to enhance the locations of where seed has been collected.

Natural Resources Canada
National Tree Seed Centre
1350 Regent Street
Fredericton, NB E3C 2G6

Donnie McPhee
National Tree Seed Centre

I have contacted Donnie, who advises as follows:

“Viable Hemlock seed cannot be picked until they ripen on the tree. Historically for NS we are looking at early to mid Oct. Seed collected before it is ripe results in low vigor, low quality seed.

“What can be done starting early July is forecasting if and where good seed crops are located.
To do this you are looking for small green cones at the tips of new shoots.

“There is a lot of interest is the preservation of seed of eastern hemlock due to HWA. We want to make sure we get collections from across its range in order to preserve any genetic diversity the remains in the natural forest.

“Please let us know what you are seeing out there regarding a cone crop. So that we can coordinate what is being collected and making sure energy and resources are being put in the right areas.

“Currently we do not have collections from South western NS so this is a priority area to collaborate collections from!
“We will be updating out website to include a section on Hemlock but for now the principles would be similar to those for ash collections.”

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