Seed Exchange

The ACS is happy to offer members the Seed Exchange list for 2022 and sorry that is already April before getting this posted for you!

Every summer, Jim Brackman, who runs our Seed Exchange, heads to Oregon to hit up long-standing donors and supporters of the Conifer Society and collects cones. This year it was Iseli Nursery, Bizon Nursery and The Oregon Garden. There was also a donation from a non-member that has an interest in conifers and had to remove what was most likely a weeping Picea omarika , the tree was already on the ground and mostly cut but the branches left on the high stump were definitely pointed in a sharp downward angle. The owner of the property, Harald Duell, reached out through the “contact us” link on the society webpage and was then directed to me. A big THANKS goes to Peter Gregg at Iseli, Eric Bizon at Bizon Nursery, Doug Wilson at the OG and Harald Duell.

To Order Seed

Please be sure to mark your first selections with a circled number of packets you would like (like this: ①) and your ALTERNATE choices by marking with the number of packets and a checkmark (like this: 1√). WITHOUT ALTERNATE SELECTIONS JIM WILL USE HIS BEST JUDGMENT FOR SUBSTITUTES. This year, the price is $1.50 per packet, with a $9 minimum per order. Do not send cash, make checks payable to: American Conifer Society. If you know someone that requires a printed copy of the list, please ask them to send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Jim and he will get them a list. Please remember that seed donated is open pollinated. Orders are filled in the order that they are received. Number of seeds per packet varies based on inventory. If you are interested in donating seed or cones, please refer to this page for more details. For information on how Jim stratifies and germinates seed, send him an email.

This is my 11th Seed Exchange! It surprised me as I looked back through my records to look for ways to simplify my processes and get the seed prepped earlier in the year. I became interested in conifers and seed when I was a young teenager and my Dad came back from a trip to the U of W with some seed from a Korean Fir. He shared with me what he had learned about the upright and colorful cones and pollen flowers and what it would take to get the seed to germinate. I was more than a little intrigued! He had success in getting some seed to germinate and we both waited patiently for the tree to get old enough to produce seed and see the first cones. The beginning of a true cone head, as I now look at any tree for cones and seed and wonder what it would take to get them to grow. I do find it ironic that I now work managing a large reforestation nursery growing tens of millions of conifer seedlings a year, including some Abies koreana!

This fall, I plan on doing a much better job of documenting my trips to collect cones and the process that I go through to dry, clean and stratify seed to share with you in a few articles that I have been promising Ron Elardo for a few years now. I hope that the articles will inspire more members to collect cones and send them to me for cleaning and testing to see how viable they are. It is disappointing to say that not all cones contain viable seed but it is a fact of life and leads me to collect as many cones as I can to have a better chance of have some amount of seed for the exchange.

Seed packets
Seed packets

One year old seedlings. L to R, Chamaecyparis obtusa, Larix kaempferi and Pinus virginiana 'Wate's Golden'

Since most of the gathered seed is open pollenated, there’s always a chance that you will come up with a mutation or cross that is unlike any other and that, some day, you may be able to call your own. (See: The ACS Conifer Registration Program.)

Jim is always interested in your results. He is happy to receive your e-mails and pictures and will return the same when warranted. Just be patient during his busy winter-early spring time frame when his day job as head grower for a Weyerhaeuser container operation keeps him in the weeds.

To download -Seed list updated 5 10 22

MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE ALTERNATE CHOICES IN CASE YOUR CHOICE IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE. Call or email Jim (contact info below) if you have any questions.

The Fall 2009 issue of Conifer Quarterly carried an excellent article about Collecting Seed and Growing Seedlings. Read it here.

For more more information:
ACS Seed Exchange
5621 Old Highway 410 SW
Olympia, WA 98512
or e-mail Jim Brackman: [email protected]