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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Greater Victoria real estate sales numbers tell two stories for July

Real estate board president Sandi-Jo Ayers talks about pent-up spring demand, low inventory

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

Driver loses control, crashes into Saanich furniture store

Crash at Lazyboy Furniture store Wednesday afternoon

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Aug. 4

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

POLL: Should it be mandatory to wear masks when out in public?

B.C. is witnessing an alarming rise in the number of cases of… Continue reading

B.C. doctors, dentists call on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Facebook launches its new TikTok clone, Instagram Reels

Facebook has a long tradition of cloning competitive services

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

B.C. fish harvesters receive long-awaited details on pandemic benefits

Applications to the $470-million federal assistance programs will open Aug. 24

Most Read