2015 was a dynamic year for FPInnovations’ direct seeding research activities, with the installation of three new trials in northern B.C. and a field tour in Williams Lake, B.C. that attracted over 30 industry practitioners. Direct seeding, the practice of sowing seeds directly into the soil during mechanical site preparation, is being investigated for its potential cost-saving value in reforestation, particularly its applications in fire or MPB-affected stands that lack the seed source to regenerate naturally.
While most of the previous direct seeding trials have focused on the Cariboo-Chilcotin region, the 2015 trials explored how direct seeding works in northern B.C. The Bracke S35.a seeder was used in conjunction with skidders and crawler tractors to test seeding of pine-spruce and pure spruce in previously untested ecological zones. Germination will be monitored over the next few years to help fine-tune future treatments.
FPInnovations’ direct seeding research started with seeding trials in 2011 and has evolved as better technology and better understanding of the treatment have become available. FPInnovations has since installed 13 operational trials across Canada in order to assess how different ecological zones, tree species, seed treatments, treatment seasons, and site preparation and seeder equipment affect the end result. These trials have helped our members build the capacity necessary to incorporate direct seeding in silvicultural programs across B.C. Today, direct seeding is used operationally by several of our members, with over 3000 hectares treated in B.C. this past year alone.
For more information, please contact Pamela Matute, Researcher, Silvicultural Operations.