Central Saanich’s Mount Newton Seed Orchard grows into big Four-oh

Home to 6,000 trees, facility has produced enough seed to grow more than 250 million trees

A piece of land in Central Saanich is in many ways one of the embryonic chambers of the provincial forest industry.

The Mount Newton Seed Orchard celebrated its 40th anniversary Wednesday with a family reunion as current and past employees joined forestry insiders to mark the facility’s round birthday with a tour and a lunch.

BC Forest Products and Crown Zellerbach established the 100-acre orchard in 1979 to create seeds for a range of trees.

It has since produced enough seed to grow more than 250 million trees in its four decades of operation.

RELATED: Walking the Crossroads of Central Saanich History

“This is a proud milestone for our company and a tribute to the hard work and dedication of the many people in our organization and within the Province’s Tree Improvement Program,” Jeff Zweig, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Mosaic Forest Management which operates the facility on behalf of owner Timber West.

The orchard itself contains more than 6,000 established trees, including Douglas-fir, western red cedar, western hemlock and a newly-established western white pine grove, according to a release. The orchard currently produces enough seed to grow eight million Douglas-fir seedlings annually, with a goal of increasing that figure to 12 million over the next 10 years.

The orchard is not just a genetic bank preserving existing species under the Tree Improvement Program, but also contributes to the fight against climate change.

“By continually improving the seed stock, we grow trees that are better adapted to thrive in a changing environment,” said Zweig, a point echoed by Doug Donaldson, minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development. “Reforesting harvested areas provides jobs through silviculture work and tree-planting, and using high-quality tree seed contributes to the resiliency of new stands in the face of climate change,” he said.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Greater Victoria high school students head to Honduran jungles, reefs for science

Students from St. Andrew’s High School spent the summer surveying the tropics

PHOTOS: Vancouver Canucks gear up for 50th season with Training Camp in Victoria

‘We have some great guys coming in,’ said player Elias Pettersson

Pacific FC to face off against FC Edmonton Saturday at Westhills Stadium

Visit the Goldstream News Gazette’s tent for your chance to win a prize pack

VIDEO: Vancouver Island mayor details emergency response after fatal bus crash

Sharie Minions says she is ‘appalled’ by condition of road where bus crashed

Coming Home: B.C. fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

Newcomer Ferland lines up with sniper Pettersson as Vancouver Canucks camp opens

Ferland provides more depth and a scoring threat up front, Pettersson says

Intelligence official charged seemed to be ‘exemplar of discretion’: UBC professor

Professor Paul Evans says he served on Cameron Ortis’s doctoral dissertation committee

B.C. police watchdog to investigate man’s head injury during RCMP arrest

Suspect fled on a bicycle and fell off when an officer attempted to stop him

Nanaimo company gets licence to test psychedelic drugs for therapy treatment

Salvation Botanicals interested in manufacturing, testing and research and development

‘A real shame’: B.C. MLA says factors behind Tolko mill closing should have been caught

Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson said the industry is in bad shape across the province

VIDEO: Seniors at B.C. assisted living facility shocked by Oct. 1 eviction notice

Building owners terminate lease for McGuire Lake Congregate Living in Salmon Arm

‘How does it even happen?’: Bear locks itself inside vehicle in Port Moody

It was apparent the suspect had gained entry with his ‘bear’ hands

Most Read