With a marvelous view to the lake and the forest, 80 participants gathered in Tuusula, Finland, to partake in NordGen Forest’s conference, this Tuesday. The theme of the conference is “New forests for future needs – using advanced regeneration methods and techniques”. One of the speakers was Katri Himanen from Luke, the Finnish Natural Resources Institute. She held a presentation on how to increase the seed production and yield in seed orchards.
“One challenge with Norway Spruce is that the trees don’t mature until they are 25-35 years old. This creates challenges for both tree breeding and seed production” Katri Himanen said.
Norway spruce is a tree species that produce abundant amounts of cones some years. This happens once or twice a decade. This is a strategy for avoiding larger insect attacks. As a seed producer, there are however ways to increase the seed yield of Norway spruce.
“One way is to increase the flowering. If you happen to visit a seed orchard in the summer you might see shadowlike figures standing behind the trees. This is merely foresters trying to increase the flowering by injecting a natural hormone to the tree. That is, hormone that already exists in the tree” Katri Himanen said.
Other ways to increase the yield from seed orchards is to secure that pollination takes place by introducing pollen to the air or simply by creating air currents that help move the pollen from one tree to another, as well as protecting the yield from cone rusts and insects.
NordGen Forest’s conference gathers participants from both the private and public sector in all the Nordic countries as well as Estonia and Latvia. One of the other lecturers were Darius Danusevicius professor at the Faculty of Forest Sciences and Ecology at the Aleksandras Stulginskis University. He presented a large project within Horizon 2020 aiming to optimize the management and sustainable use of forest genetic resources in Europe.
“The project is called GenTree and is a very broad project which commenced in 2016 and will go on for four years. We aim to present better knowledge and new tools for working with forest genetic resources in the context of climate change and societal development” Darius Danusevicius said.
NordGen Forest’s conferences are always very popular, and this year was no exception. The fully booked conference consists of one whole day of lectures followed by another day with excursions. The conferences are arranged in a different Nordic country each year and create possibilities for Nordic and Baltic networking within forestry.