To help celebrate the Surrey Tree Centre’s 60th anniversary, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and deputy chief forester Shane Berg plant a whitebark pine seedling. (BC Government photo)

To help celebrate the Surrey Tree Centre’s 60th anniversary, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson and deputy chief forester Shane Berg plant a whitebark pine seedling. (BC Government photo)

South Surrey’s Tree Seed Centre marks 60th anniversary

Government officials, former centre employees on hand to mark anniversary

Former employees, government officials and a few other “special guests” celebrated the 60th anniversary of the South Surrey-based Tree Seed Centre Wednesday, as part of National Forest Week.

The Tree Seed Centre (18793 32 Ave.) began in Duncan in 1958, but moved to it’s current South Surrey location in 1986. The centre ”supplies a continuous supply of seed to reforest B.C.’s public forests after harvesting or natural disturbances, such as the mountain pine beetle or wildfire,’ according to a news release issued by the provincial government.

The facility extracts seeds from cones, tests them to ensure germination, then distributes seeds from 15 different tree species to nurseries around the province.

In 2017, seed was supplied to grow 270 million seedlings. This year, seed will be extracted from more than 25,000 sacks of cones and seed will again be supplied to grow in excess of 270 million seedlings, according to the release.

To commemorate the anniversary, Doug Donaldson, minister of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development, planted a whitebark pine seedling – a tree considered an endangered species.

The planting of the tree, the release notes, “symbolizes the government’s recovery efforts for this tree.”