Dear colleagues and clients, we from the ARBOR.BG team, would like to present to you the results from the gathering of seeds since the start of the season. Our achievements in the processing of fleshy fruits and the extraction of seeds therefrom can be noted as a positive result for us. At the end of the summer, for a start, we began with extracting seeds from Aronia (Aronia melanocarpa), and assisted with advice from different specialists we succeeded in achieving excellent purity and germination rate of the seeds. Several consecutive, labor-consuming operations helped us to separate the seeds from the fruit, and set before us the main task for the next season, namely to optimize and facilitate the entire process.
After the Aronia seeds, we proceeded with the European crab apple (Malus sylvestris) and Common pear (Pyrus communis). We encountered difficulties in finding fruits from the European crab apple due to the poor harvest. We were able to obtain quality seeds, but here also remained the challenge with improving the seed extraction process.
After the fleshy fruits, we proceeded with the processing of the Mountain pine (Pinus mugo). The harvest was rich and we achieved a high yield. The quality of the obtained seeds is exellent they show high germination rate and purity. Things went the same way with the Balkan pine (Pinus peuce), as well. We had a good harvest, were able to achieve good seed quality and to realize decent seed quantities.
Unfortunately, our expectations did not coincide with the actual harvest in the case of economically significant species.
The collection of seeds from the Common beech (Fagus sylvatica) turned out to be a great challenge. We were able to cope with small quantities thanks to employees from the forestry system, who helped with the collection. The only good seeds we were able to collect were on the northern slopes of the Central Balkan Mountains, in seed facilities with elite trees, which premises excellent hereditary features of the seeds.
The enviable quantity of cones in the case of the Silver fir (Abies alba) promoted high expectations, but it turned out that the quantity of hollow seeds was large and the result was unsatisfactory. The obtained seeds did not show high germination rate in the laboratory tests, either.
Out of the coniferous species, the harvest of the Norway spruce (Picea abies) was the richest, although in some plantations the samples were not good as a result of an infestation of the spruce seed moth (Cydia strobilella). We were able to obtain good quantities of seeds with high germination rate and high purity.
Currently, we are encountering difficulties in obtaining seeds from the Black pine (Pinus nigra) due to the prevalent trend of poor harvests. The harvest this year is even poorer than the previous. Our contacts with colleagues outside Bulgaria confirmed that the harvest is poor throughout Europe in the locations where the black pine occurs. The observations of foresters from the more westerly habitats of the black pine show that the poor harvest is due to infestations of Leptoglosus occidentalis, a pest on coniferous plants, which according to data of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences reached Croatia in 2004 and has been moving more and more towards the east. The cones that are available on the trees are mechanically damaged by insects and rather resin-covered, while the seeds therein are completely hollow, which suggests that this pest previously unknown to us has settled in this country, as well. Another prerequisite for us to believe so is that this has been the fourth poor year in a row for the Black pine, and each subsequent of the four harvests has been poorer than the previous one, and the percentage of hollow seeds has been increasing progressively.
Following the quite successful 2017 for the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris), this year has been poor; the quantities of cones are small and are found on individual trees along the periphery of the plantations (unit on the Kaper scale). The harvest is not good in the generative gardens, either. The cones, both in the case of the black and white pines, are underfed and of small sizes, which according to specialists is due to the dry summer and autumn, and is also a prerequisite for inadequate and hard seed gathering.
For the forthcoming season, our goals will be related to both the above-mentioned facilitation and optimization of processes in the processing of some species, and also the addition of new and lesser known tree and shrub species to our product list.
We look forward to the spring forestation so we can offer you quality saplings for the creation of highly productive forests for the future generations.