Tree Seed Working Group

The Canadian Forest Genetics Association (CFGA) has a Tree Seed Working Group (TSWG) that has been active since 1983. The TSWG publishes a News Bulletin on a selected theme biannually. The working group also hosts a Tree Seed Workshop at the biennial CFGA meeting. Through our objectives and activities, we support organizations to advance and maintain the capacity to deliver effective tree improvement gains, and conserve forest genetic resources for the future.

Please contact us if you would like to subscribe, contribute, have questions or feedback on any material posted here.


The Tree Seed Working Group has four objectives on promoting tree seed science and technology through:

  • Seed research from bud initiation to seed use
  • Identification of seed problems relating to tree improvement and forest management
  • Exchange of information on seed-related problems
  • Advising on implementation practices

Current Priorities

Input from our members is crucial to the relevance of our News Bulletin and workshops. Prior to the 2019 TSWG workshop, a survey was distributed and the following priorities were ranked (responses from ~20% of active emails 2019-2021, n=53 responses, 49 from North American jurisidictions)

The TSWG News Bulletin is our most recognized means of communication and has been distributed 1-2 times a year since 1983. More than 375 people currently receive our electronic News Bulletin at no cost. Members are mainly from Canada, but there are some from the United States, Europe, and a handful of other countries. We welcome and will solicit content from new and experienced tree seed researchers and operational staff in order to advance our knowledge base.

How to receive the News Bulletin

Joining our email listservs is easy and free, but does not constitute official CFGA Active Membership.

Request to join from CFGA homepage form or directly from the TSWG Google Groups listserv. Emails are infrequent Approved group members can then post time-sensitive announcements to the mailing list (jobs, events, urgent questions related to tree seed, etc). Spam and phishing accounts will not be tolerated.

Content Guidelines

This is not a peer-reviewed journal but for guidance, please refer to the TSWG Publication Guidelines – Oct 2022 or review recent articles. All past News Bulletins have been posted here, and are also available from the Library Archives of Canada. Recent articles and PDFs are listed below.

Recent TSWG News Bulletins and Articles

No. 72. June 2022. Seed Automation Technologies (PDF)

  • Magnetic resonance imaging provides insights into the structures of Scots pine seeds and their characteristics (Teemu Tuomainen, Katri Himanen)
  • Considering Direct Seeding as a Forest Restoration Option (Steven C. Grossnickle)
  • New direct seeding technology improves seedling emergence (Pekka Helenius)
  • Flash Forest: Drone Seeding Post-Fire Sites (Quirin Hohendorf)
  • DeLeaves Drones Aiming Towards Seed Collection (Guillaume Charron)
  • Sugar maple mini-cell trials at Berthier Nursery (Fabienne Colas, Geneviève Loslier, Vladimir Rousse)
  • A New Seed Pest in Maple? (Melissa Spearing, Donnie McPhee)
  • Biochar and tree seeds: a good combination? (Sean Thomas)
  • 2021 Wins and Challenges (Brian Barber, Kim Creasey, Jodie Krakowski)
  • Climate Change and Pollen Phenology (Steve D’eon)

No. 71. October 2021. Maximizing Seed Use (PDF)

  • New Analysis of Critical Seed Transfer Distances (John Pedlar, Dan McKenney)
  • Adapting Seed Transfer Guidelines in Northeastern Ontario: Lessons from Lodgepole Pine Climatypes (Dennis Joyce)
  • Artificial Reforestation Programs in the Boreal Forest under a Changing Climate (Dennis Joyce)
  • Local was Best: Sourcing Tree Seed for Future Climates (Greg O’Neill)
  • New EUFORGEN Report Highlights Genetic Aspects in FRM Production (Katri Himanen)
  • Introducing the Atlantic Tree Improvement Council (Stefan Richard)
  • Boreal Forest Plant and Seed Technology Access Center (TAC) (Jean-Marie Sobze)
  • Is There a Future for Western Ash Species? (Richard Sneizko)
  • Pinus strobus Orchard at the Berthier Nursery: Small Insect, Big Damage (Fabienne Colas)
  • Dewinging Yellow Birch Seeds with Plastic Particles (Fabienne Colas)
  • Thermal Priming and Seedling Production at Berthier Nursery (Fabienne Colas)
  • Thermal Priming Trial with Western Hemlock Seed (Nabil Khadduri)
  • Western Larch Germination Test Adjustments (Dave Kolotelo)
  • BC Seed Orchard Seed: Seedling Conversion Factors (Dave Kolotelo)

No. 70. January 2021. Seed Preparation

  • Memories of Dr. George Edwards (Dave Kolotelo, Don Pigott, Doug Taylor, Mike Meagher, Dick Piesch, Kim Creasey, Rob Bowden-Green, Joe Wong)
  • Michele Fullarton Retires (Tom Ng)
  • Seed Matters! Technical Note Series from ATISC Continues (Lindsay Robb)
  • New Lodgepole Pine Seed Orchards in BC (Brian Barber)
  • BC Tree Seed Centre Recent Kiln Upgrades (Marilyn Cherry)
  • Stratification Moisture Content Monitoring in British Columbia (Dave Kolotelo, Johanna Walker, Spencer Reitenbach)
  • A Review of the National Tree Seed Centre’s Germination Guidelines (Melissa Spearing, Katherine Burgess, Donnie McPhee)
  • 2018 Seed Germination Guidelines Used at the Ontario Tree Seed Plant (Melissa Spearing)
  • Extended Stratification Study of A-Class Interior Spruce Seedlots (Victoria Lei)
  • The Evolution of the Forest Gene Conservation Association (Kerry McLaven)
  • Ontario’s New Seed Transfer Tools for Climate Adaptation (Ken Elliott)
  • USDA Forest Service Tree Seed and Genetics Happenings (Carrie Pike)

Recent Tree Seed Working group workshop and recorded event materials are archived below. Older workshops are summarized in News Bulletins or CFGA Proceedings. Feedback is welcome.

group photo from attendees on the June 2022 bus tour on Vancouver Island, standing in front of a large Sitka Spruce
group photo from attendees on the June 2022 bus tour on Vancouver Island, standing in front of a large Sitka Spruce

This working group represents a specialized field of research and operational practitioners. The following graphs indicate the total count of self-assessed seed expertise from the 2019-2021 Member Survey.


To support the delivery of effective future cone and seed services, we welcome members and equipment suppliers to add a profile via the form at the bottom of this page. Inclusion in this directory does not constitute an endorsement by CFGA or the TSWG.


Google Map of member data or basic table with filters

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