Understanding the provision of conifer seed for woodland species
Lead Author: Alice Broome
We use some essential cookies to make this website work.
We’d like to set additional cookies to understand how you use forestresearch.gov.uk, remember your settings and improve our services.
Preparing to search
Lead Author: Alice Broome
Conifer seed provides an important food resource for many woodland mammals, birds and insects, including some of Britain’s rarest species. This Research Note brings together information from a number of sources on cone and seed production by the main conifers planted in Britain. This information can help managers assess the seed resources of their woodlands and manage the woods for the objective of seed production, whether for food or to encourage natural regeneration. Cone and seed crops fluctuate annually and the amount of seed available in good compared with bad seed years, as well as the frequency of good years, depends on a range of factors which include tree species, age of the crop and climatic conditions. Some species such as Scots pine produce moderate but consistent crops of seed every year, whereas others are much more variable. For example, in a good year Japanese larch can provide the greatest amount of seed and energy per area of woodland of any conifer species grown in Britain, whereas in a poor year production is almost negligible. The time of year when seed is released differs between conifer species. Woodland management can influence the continuity of seed supply as well as the quantities of cones and seed produced. Managing to provide a continuous and abundant seed resource involves consideration of woodland age structure and species composition as well as choice of appropriate interventions.
Cookies are files saved on your phone, tablet or computer when you visit a website.
Find out more about cookies on forestresearch.gov.uk
We use 3 types of cookie. You can choose which cookies you're happy for us to use.
These essential cookies do things like remember your progress through a form. They always need to be on.
We use Google Analytics to measure how you use the website so we can improve it based on user needs. Google Analytics sets cookies that store anonymised information about: how you got to the site the pages you visit on forestresearch.gov.uk and how long you spend on each page what you click on while you're visiting the site
Some forestresearch.gov.uk pages may contain content from other sites, like YouTube or Flickr, which may set their own cookies. These sites are sometimes called ‘third party’ services. This tells us how many people are seeing the content and whether it’s useful.