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

Health Canada suspends Island pot producer’s licence following unannounced visit

Evergreen Medicinal Supply is working on “corrective action”

Victoria student out $600 for lack of e-bike insurance blames confusing rules

B.C. regulation says e-bike motors must turn off if rider stops pedalling, or bike must be insured

Flat tire, kindness of strangers, surprisingly inflate hope

Sooke mom and her daughters knocked on door of Bob and Norma Saunders seeking help

Oak Bay grants 60 days of protection for century-old mansion

J.W. Morris House slated for removal by Abstract Developments

Saanich police ask for public’s help locating missing high risk youth

The 12-year-old was last seen before school on Monday morning

Sealand was much more than killer whales, says ex-employee

Former Sealasd trainer revisits Sealand of the Pacific in talk

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of September 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Should the province step in to upgrade the road to Bamfield?

The death of two University of Victoria students on a bus bound… Continue reading

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

B.C. MLA calls on province to restrict vaping as first related illness appears in Canada

Todd Stone, Liberal MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson, introduced an anti-vaping bill in April

Most Read