Clonal Seed Orchards

Clonal seed orchards

Many of these Plus Trees have now been grafted on to selected root stocks and planted out in clonal seed orchards. There will be three such orchards. The orchard comprising grafts from Region 30 (western England and Wales) was planted on a private estate in Devon in 2006. The Region 40 (lowland eastern England) orchard will be planted winter 2007 at Little Wittenham in Oxfordshire. We are currently seeking funds to enable the collection of scion material and produce the grafts for an orchard for Scotland. As high quality ash is less common further north, practicalities mean that there will be one orchard for Scotland, containing grafts from both Regions of Provenance 10 and 20. We hope to plant this orchard in 2010.

In Ireland approximately 100 Plus trees were selected in the early 1990’s under an EU ECLAIR Programme and todate two untested clonal seed orchards, based on this selected material have been established one in 2003 and another in 2006. To conserve selected Plus Tree material clone banks have also been established in Britain and in Ireland.

The term clonal here simply means vegetative propagation, such as taking cuttings from a favourite garden plant. The clonally propagated trees are not genetically modified or “engineered” in any way.