In the midst of seed-collecting season for planting forests around the world

A company in Yellow Point is helping to re-seed forests in B.C., Canada and as far away as Europe and Asia.

Photo by Duck Paterson 

Don Pigott, the owner of Yellow Point Propagation on Quennell Road, has worked in forestry for more than 50 years. He spent 13 years working for MacMillan Bloedel, one year of which was when he was ‘traded’ to the Norwegian government to assist with forestry there. In 1982 Pigott started his own forestry consulting company.

Pigott collects seeds, particularly seeds from coniferous and deciduous trees, as well as shrubs and wild flowers. His company collects the cones, as well as other types of seeds, from the trees, shrubs, etc., and then extracts, cleans, dries, tests, sorts and then bags them, and sells them in B.C. and internationally.

Collections are usually made from mid August until late October with the help of seasonal staff, and various methods are used. “They are collected by climbing, from ladders, sometimes cones are harvested that squirrels have cut from branches, and for high-value species or in remote locations, they are collected by helicopter,” said Pigott.

He said the helicopter helps with seed collection over tough terrain.“We have an inverted cone-shaped basket hanging under the helicopter and when it flies over selected trees they lower the basket over the top of the tree and as the cone is retracted the knives inside that basket cut the branches and they are collected at the bottom of it,” he said. “The helicopter lowers the basket to the ground and our staff then collects the branches and picks the cones off of them.”

A unique method is to use rifles to shoot the branches off selected trees and collect the cones from the branches when they hit the ground. Seed processing work is done from November to April. Yellow Point Propagation has a couple of “seed orchards” for some species of coniferous trees. These orchards are comprised of parents which have been selected for fast growth or resistance to insects or disease.

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