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NEWS RELEASE No: 137928 JULY 2010

Consultation launched on seed testing preferences

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The Forestry Commission has launched a consultation to find out seed testers’ preferences for future implementation in Great Britain of the European Directive governing the marketing of forest reproductive material.

The Directive is implemented in Britain through the Forest Reproductive Material (Great Britain) Regulations 2002. These provide a system of control for seed, cuttings and planting stock used for forestry in Great Britain.

One of the requirements of the regulations is that all seed of the 46 ‘controlled’ species, and all seed of the Populus genus of trees, must be tested by an approved seed tester, using internationally accepted techniques, before it can be marketed.

The purpose of the consultation is to allow current and potential seed testers, and others with an interest or expertise in seed testing, an opportunity to comment on the options available for the future implementation of the regulations.

The consultation will cover questions on two key topic areas: the standard to be met by Forestry Commission-approved forest tree seed testing facilities, and the methods of obtaining and retaining approval to become a Forestry Commission-approved forest tree seed testing facility.

The consultation documents can be downloaded from, and further information is available from Alister Henderson, tel 0131 314 6276;


  • Seed testing provides potential buyers of seed information about the purity, germination, weight (of 1,000 pure seeds), and the number of germinable seeds per kilogram. This information must be shown on the suppliers’ documents that accompany the seed.

MEDIA CONTACT: Charlton Clark, 0131 314 6500 or Willie Cairns, 0131 314 6443.