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Seedling Movement & Seed Zones

The Alberta Forest Genetic Resource Management and Conservation Standards (May, 2009) apply to all material intended for deployment on Alberta’s Green Area.  The standards address material collection, handling, registration and storage in addition to the deployment of materials on the Green Area.  Typically, the re-vegetation of oilfield sites primarily deals with the collection and deployment of wild material for normal reforestation activities (Stream 1).



Seed Zones

Alberta has been divided into 90 seed zones, 74 of which pertain to the Green Area.  Seed zones are geographic subdivisions of Natural Regions and Subregions based on general genetic criteria.  They limit seed movement to a conservation area where native trees of all species can be moved without risk of mal-adaptation or erosion of genetic integrity.  Unrestricted Stream 1 seed collections from within a seed zone can be moved freely within that seed zone, but cannot be moved outside of the seed zone.


On a practical level, this means that tree seedlings to be planted in a specific seed zone must be grown from seed collected in that zone.


(Click here for full ASRD map.)


Seed zones for east-central Alberta

Variance Requests

The movement (deployment) of seedlings outside the seed zone of origin may be allowed with a variance approval from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development.  The decision allowing a variance will depend on the type of collection, ecological classification, provenance test results, climate transfer analyses and number of individuals being deployed.  Boreal can assist the client to determine if a variance request is a viable option and with the application process.




Currently, the Alberta Forest Genetic Resource Management and Conservation Standards ASRD do not extend the same seed deployment rules to native shrubs.  However, it is a good stewardship to use seed from collections within the same region as the deployment location.