Category Archives: General


BGCI and our partners invite your valuable contribution to an online Seed Conservation Knowledge Hub!

Initial activities in 2017 are focused on building a directory of facilities, individuals, and expertise related to all aspects of seed conservation of wild plants. More details can be found at

Please complete the form at the link below – it only takes 7 minutes! The information you provide (apart from your contact information, unless specified) will be included in an online directory hosted by BGCI. You have until 30 September, 2017 to become part of this exciting new seed conservation tool.

Visit to access the form.

Thank you for supporting the development of a resource that will benefit the broader seed conservation community. If you have any questions or any trouble accessing the form, please email We apologize for cross posting.

Thank you!

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) in partnership with the United States Forest Service, the Lyon Arboretum, and the National Tropical Botanical Garden

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It is with a heavy heart I must inform your members of Ben’s passing after a brief illness. He had recently moved to Pembroke to be closer to his wife Helen in the retirement home. Ben’s family was at his side and many colleagues paid a visit and had a brief chat with him during his brief stay in the hospital. A ceremony to lay his ashes will be held at the Petawawa Research Forest on July 26th in amongst some of the trees Ben germinated from seed. Of course some tree seed will be sown in his honour. Steve D’Eon, Canadian Forest Service.





logoI have attached a link to the above conference, which will be held between September 4-6, 2017 in Bålsta, Sweden. Please support our colleagues in IUFRO Working Party 2.09.01 “Seed Orchards”. 

The goal of this conference is to provide the opportunity to exchange scientific advances related to forest tree seed orchards and their integration in the forestry practice. These include links between seed orchards and long-term tree breeding; seed orchard design and management; forest pathology in relation to seed production, seed testing and storage; seed physiology and technology; forest economics; gene conservation; and interaction of seed orchards with related disciplines.

Important dates are:

31 May 2017 – Abstract submission;

23 June 2017 – Abstract acceptance;

30 June 2017 – Registration.


Farewell to Ben Wang

Ben WangIntroduction to ‘guest blog’ (by Shelagh McCartan)

In 2006, I was lucky enough to meet Ben Wang at the IUFRO conference in Fredericton, Canada. Ben has had a long, productive, and interesting career. At the age of 90, he has decided to ‘retire’! We wish him all the best in the future!

Guest Blog by Ben Wang (just retired)

Hello Friends

It has been 50 years since I started to work with tree seed at Petawawa Forest Experiment Station , Petawawa National Forestry Institute and Petawawa Research Forest as a research Officer, research scientist and emeritus research scientist. After 34 years of tree seed testing  and research with the National Tree Seed Centre, I retired in 1994 and continued with some consultancy, visiting scientist and volunteer work in tree seed.  I would  like to tell you friends that I had a very  interesting career in Tree seed for which I must express my  appreciation to Dr. Milan Simak of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences who led and organized the IUFRO Tree Seed Group following the 1973 International Symposium in Bergan, Norway. It was Dr. Simak’s leadership that we had many years of fruitful  interesting tree seed work done internationally. In Canada, we were lucky to have the Tree Seed Working Group and  I am happy to see the Tree Seed Working Group’s News Bulletin are continued worldwide readership after 33 years.  I have a plea to our colleagues that there are more in-depth work required in seed science and technology for us to discover. Good luck and good- bye.




This year has whizzed by yet again – a blur of activity in a changing and sometimes challenging research landscape!

In our unit, I am concerned with the dwindling number of tree seed scientists world-wide. This year, we lost a core member, Marnie Light, who has taken up a research role in the palm oil industry. Marnie was our deputy co-ordinator for the past three years. On behalf of this unit, I would like to thank you for your enthusiasm, input and particularly web-master skills. We will miss you!

I also would like to remind everyone that this blog is the main means for communication in our IUFRO Unit 2.09.03. Please send me information on techniques, jobs and conferences, which I will upload as soon as possible. I am also looking for guest bloggers for 2017. I would like to publish one blog per month. So if you are interested, then please contact me for further details.

Wishing you all the very best over the Festive Season and for the New Year ahead!





Time for an update!

Fologollowing on from our last post in which we (very sadly!) had to cancel our proposed conference, we thought it was time for a short update! Actually, at the moment we don’t have too much to share in the way of any recent updates, but really we do need some updated information from you, the ‘followers’ of the IUFRO 2.09.03 Tree Seed Technology and Physiology Blog.

The International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) HQ would like to construct a VIRTUAL ADDRESS BOOK of all the active members within our group, the IUFRO 2.09.03 Tree Seed Technology and Physiology group (that means you, if you are reading this)!

So, please kindly send your details to me by Monday 13th June. Information required is as per the following example:

First Name: John
Last Name: Doe
Country: Austria
Organization: United Foresters of Austria

Many thanks,

Shelagh McCartan
IUFRO Working Group 2.09.03 Co-ordinator



Cancellation of IUFRO WG 2.09.03 Tree Seed Technology and Physiology Conference

Unfortunately, the conference organisers have decided to cancel the IUFRO WG 2.09.03 Tree Seed Technology and Physiology Conference, which was scheduled for later this year. Despite an enormous effort to try and arrange this conference, there was very poor interest and uptake by members, along with a huge potential financial risk to Forest Research. However, should there be sufficient interest shown in the future, there is a strong possibility that a conference can be arranged. We wish you all the best for your research endeavours, and would like to encourage you to continue your excellent research in tree seed physiology and technology.

Season’s greetings 2015

Once again, another year has flown by, and we find ourselves in the middle of December 2015! Towards the end of last year, we had hoped to host a small conference in the middle of this year, but unfortunately, we were unable to make it happen. However, the seed of that idea remains viable, albeit somewhat dormant at this stage, but we will do our best to get it to germinate at some stage in the near future!

Slowly, but surely, the number of blog followers have increased, and we now have around 30-35 followers. It is a reasonable improvement compared to having around 15-20 followers last year, but we need more! This blog is the primary mechanism for communication for our IUFRO Unit 2.09.03 and it is important that we use this as a useful communication tool. So, please tell your friends and colleagues about our blog and ask them to sign up to receive updates (we promise not to send too many), and do send us any information that you may wish to share on the blog.

We trust that 2015 has been a successful year, and that your research is progressing steadily.

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Wishing you all the very best over the Festive Season, and for the New Year ahead!

Shelagh and Marnie

Survey: Seed and seedling sources in forest and landscape restoration

Survey for restoration practitioners: Seed and seedling sources in forest and landscape restoration

Meeting global and national commitments for forest and landscape restoration requires large amounts of tree seed and seedlings, either through planting or natural dispersal and recruitment.

Asia Pacific Forest Genetic Resources Programme (APFORGEN), hosted by APAFRI, is conducting a global survey about the availability of seed and seedlings for forest and landscape restoration, in collaboration with Bioversity International and the regional forest genetic resources programmes in Latin America (LAFORGEN) and Sub-Saharan Africa (SAFORGEN).

If you have been involved in forest and landscape restoration projects, we would much appreciate if you could share your experiences with us.

Click here to start the survey :

The results of the survey will be used to identify action needs and recommendations for countries and the international community on how to improve supply of tree seeds and seedlings, in order to help meet global and national restoration targets.

Thank you for your participation!


Ms. Syuqiyah
Information Officer, APAFRI

(Posted on behalf of APAFRI)


Seed pests and pathogens are sometimes inadvertently introduced into new areas. For example, Knopper galls are caused by a gall wasp (Andricus quercuscalicis) which may have crossed the English Channel on high altitude winds. It was first recorded in the 1950s but has since spread throughout England, Scotland and Wales. The gall wasp requires both pedunculate oak (Quercus robur) and Turkey oak (Quercus cerris) to complete its obligate 2-phase life cycle. The Knopper galls are due to a chemically induced distortion of the acorns, which results when the gall wasps lay its eggs. It affects crop yield but not enough to warrant control measures.