ECO-SOURCING

 

What is it?

Eco-sourcing involves protecting biodiversity values by using appropriate native plants for an ecological area nd the environmental conditions of the planting site.  Plants are propagated from a representative sample of the wild population.  In Canterbury, the nearest population may be some distance from your planting site.  This involves detailed collection and recording procedures to be adhered to and can result in multiple stock line options being available for the same species.

The benefits of eco-sourcing are better survival and growth of your plants, as they will be genetically adapted to your environment, and helping to maintain as pure local genetic base as possible.

To ensure you receive palnts from your region in any quantity, you would need to order 18 months in advance to allow time for seed collection and the growing of the plants.

 

The Process

Source Identification

Our experienced seed collectors start the collection process from late December to June each year.  We target areas from North Canterbury, South Canterbury, Banks Peninsula, The West Coast, and most places inbetween.  We are also spreading into wider areas as customer demand grows, and we are happy to receive seed from customers if they specifically want us to grow for them. Once a species list is collated, we start the collection process considering the following:

  • Remoteness from amenity planting so the chance of contaminatiion is minimised.
  • We only select from plants and trees that are robust and healthy.
  • Targets must be true-to-type for that species. 
  • Access to a number of similar targets in the area for genetic diversity.
  • Seed viability and ripeness.

 

Documentation and Record Keeping

Each seed species is given a code at collection time, so that we can track the following:

  • Date of collection.
  • Collection site.
  • Who collected the seed.
  • What treatment the seed has needed (ie Dry stored, wet stored, or treated with fungicide).

The data sheet follows the batch of seeds from collection through to propagation and installation.  Other information, such as germination trial data, is progressively added.  We place high importance on care and maintenance of data on each batch of seeds.  This information is crucial to the integrity of our eco plants. 

After collection, the seeds are stored in our newly built seed room, which keeps them at a constant temperature.  Some species are sprayed with insecticide, and are then placed into storage containers. 

The seeds are then germinated as of requirements to our customer and nursery needs.  We always store seed for the following years in case of bad germination seasons to ensure access to seed.