Boreal forest Plant & Seed Technology access centre (tac)

Few native species seed stocks from forest understory are commercially available to provide the plants needed for the reclamation and restoration of industrial disturbed sites, and much remains unknown regarding seed harvesting, handling, viability, dormancy, germination, storage, longevity, greenhouse plant production and field establishment.

What we do

The Boreal Forest Plant and Seed Technology Access Centre (TAC) encompasses applied research, innovation and research education and extension. The types of research and client services offered by the TAC include:

  • Management of the Northwest Alberta Plant and Seed Consortium, designed to help member companies (SME and community economic development agencies) collect, bank and borrow seeds to achieve reforestation business goals. 
  • Guidance and protocols for seed collection, handling, storage and deployment.
  • Development of methods and techniques to treat and enhance native boreal seeds.
  • Shrub seed orchard development to conduct genetic improvement through plant selection and provide a reliable and improved source of native seed.
  • Access to the Centre for Boreal Research facility for industry to develop or improve technology.
  • Supporting the development of skills and hands-on mentoring of plant and seed delivery businesses within First Nation Bands and Métis settlements interested in applying traditional ecological knowledge in forestry and re-vegetation practices.
  • Development of plant and seed equipment, tools, and procedures to significantly accelerate re-vegetation outcomes for large-scale sites.
Plant & Seed Technologies

Our Mission

The mandate of the TAC is to provide scientific findings, practical methods, technologies and services to advance the capacity of industry to use native plants to lessen the environmental footprint in the boreal forest.

Research Topics

  • Native seed collection and processing including assessment of collection timing, seed handling and cleaning methods
  • Seed germination optimization through pre-treatments such as coating with nanoparticles, exposure to magnetic fields, hydro and osmotic priming, priming with smoke water, scarification and stratification
  • Seed enhancement such as pelletization and development of deployment systems
  • Seedling enhancement to increase tolerance to abiotic stress
  • Development of seed-based and asexual propagation methods for native boreal shrubs
  • Shrub seed orchard development

Looking for more information about how the Centre for Boreal Research conducts Plant and Seed research?

Contact us

Other Initiatives

Seed consortium (creation of business synergy among companies)

A regional alliance of industry, SMEs and communities called the Northwest Alberta Plant and Seed Consortium is being developed for the purpose of harvesting and banking boreal seeds, dissemination of research findings, and promoting awareness and adoption of plant and seed technologies. The Consortium facilitates regional collaboration ultimately driving SME business growth and diversification. The Consortium helps member companies to harvest and share seed resources to achieve reforestation and reclamation business goals.

Enabling the development of plant and seed delivery businesses within Indigenous and Métis communities

Indigenous communities are interested in developing seed and reforestation businesses on traditional lands and applying traditional ecological knowledge to reclamation and revegetation practices. The market research into commercial nurseries indicated a dearth of native plant material in Alberta and BC. There is a huge opportunity for local indigenous groups to develop successful plant and seed businesses to address this gap. The TAC assists communities to establish successful reforestation businesses and build capacity through hands-on training and mentoring. Indigenous students, mentored in plant and seed business operations and greenhouse management, have access to the TAC facility and equipment for training courses and skill development and upgrading.

Research Extension and Education

The TAC facilitates transfer of technical knowledge and training of practical skills through the Research Extension and Education (REE) program. The REE program connects practitioners, industry partners, and the public to TAC reclamation research.


  • Dr. Jean-Marie Sobze, TAC Manager
  • Ryan O'Neill, Research Technician
  • Dr. Binyam Tedla, Research Associate
  • Dr. Sahari Inoue, Research Associate
  • Ricky Kong, Research Associate
  • Rielle Massey-Leclerc, Research Extension and Education Coordinator
  • Julie Willoughan, Program Assistant