New Domestic Species Seed Orchards
In late January 2020 twenty individuals from Camcore and the USFS successfully planted nearly 1000 conifer seedlings into seed orchards in western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee. Over the course of one frigid day we established both a 300 seedling eastern hemlock seed orchard and a 168 seedling table mountain pine orchard at the USFS Beech Creek Genetic Resource Management Area (GRMA) in North Carolina. The following day these efforts were duplicated in the nearby Chilhowee, Tennessee GRMA under ominous grey skies.
These four seed orchards mark an important step forward in Camcores domestic conservation efforts and are hopefully the first of several more conservation plantings to come. These orchards were established in partnership with the USFS. Future seed produced will be shared by Camcore and the USFS. Genetic material produced in these orchards will be instrumental in conservation, restoration, and research of these threatened conifers endemic to the eastern US.
It should be noted that the establishment of these seed orchards would not have been possible without the impressive team from the USFS that came out to help with the planting. In addition to the planting team Camcore would like to single out Robin Taylor (USFS), Jason Rodrigue (USFS), and Drew McCarley (USFS) for helping to get this project implemented and in the ground.