Seed Testing to Give Our Customers the Best

As our nursery crews finish lifting and packing seedlings for this year, ArborGen orchard staff have been hard at work testing seed, a key component of seedling production. This allows us to allocate the right amount of seed to our nurseries to make sure our customers have what they need, when and where they need it. Seed testing involves four metrics: moisture content, purity, seed per pound, and germination.

One of these tests, germination, begins with the sample seed being soaked in water overnight, then kept in the cooler for 30 days, a process known as stratification. Stratification causes the seeds’ embryos to begin cellular activity leading to germination. The seeds are then surface dried before being placed in germination dishes containing moist germination media. Precision placement occurs with the help of a handheld vacuum with 100 small holes, allowing for even distribution in the germination dishes. For germination testing, we sow four replicates of 100 seed per germ dish, then count germinants every seven days for 28 days.

Once testing is complete, seed is “allocated” to each of our eight nurseries. The results of the seed tests are used by our nursery staff to determine how much seed to sow per foot of nursery bed. A difference of 1% in germination rate can cause our crop to go up or down by 3,000,000 seedlings! Accurate seed placement with our precision sowers using these test data ensures the highest seedling quality possible for our customers.

Watch this short video of some of the seed testing processes we employ to ensure the highest quality seedlings.

Customer Spotlight: Steven Peter – Southpaw Forest Products

Steven Peter is a forester in Eastern Virginia. Hear about his experience with higher genetics and why he chooses them year after year.

Need a trusted partner to guide the way?
Get in touch with a Reforestation Advisor to explore your options!

Paul Jeffreys, Ph.D.

Paul Jeffreys, Ph.D.

Western Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi

205-712-9582

Geoffrey Lee Hill

Geoffrey Lee Hill

Georgia, Virginia, Eastern Tennessee, Northern North Carolina

912-655-1725

Shannon Stewart

Shannon Stewart

Eastern Texas, Southern Louisiana

936-239-6189

Kylie Burdette

Kylie Burdette

Southern North Carolina, South Carolina

864-650-4454

Jason Cromer

Jason Cromer

Florida Gulf Coast, South Alabama, Southwest Georgia

229-310-0648

Greg Hay

Greg Hay

Arkansas, Northern Louisiana, and Oklahoma

501-350-4217

Jason Watson

Jason Watson

Director, U.S. Sales

404-840-7489