about us

Who We Are

Who we are:

The Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources (RNGR) team, part of the USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry for Northeast Area, Region 8, and the National Seed Laboratory.
  • USDA Forest Service, National Forest System Regions 8-9, 
  • USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station

 What is the charge: determining seed zones for the eastern US, a region spanning 24 states, from Maine to Minnesota, Texas to Florida.  This effort is intended to develop seed zones for trees and smaller subzones for non-woody plants.

What is a seed zone?  A seed zone is defined as a region with homogenous climate and topography.  Plants/trees residing within a seed zone possess, in theory, similar adaptations to local conditions.

Please note: our objective is NOT to create recommendations for moving seed across the landscape, also known as “seed transfer guidelines.”  The science of seed transfer is in its infancy, and not within the scope of this project.  Instead, our primary goal is to develop a common lexicon for discussing locality across administrative barriers. This work will aid land managers who wish to move seed in the future for assisted migration.

What is the process?  This website was developed as a platform for information, a place to host a webinar series, and for regional groups to collaborate. We will review the literature supplied by top scientists, and consult with on-the-ground regional teams to develop zones that are biologically relevant, but also administratively feasible. 

Who is invited to collaborate?: We invite natural resource professionals, or conservation practitioners, from public agencies (federal, state, county, etc), universities, NGOs and industries to help us in this endeavor. 

What can collaborators do?  

  • Listen to the webinars.
  • Share any additional science articles, partners, or potential speakers
  • Engage with others to form a regional working team to help construct seed zones for your area.
  • Participate in a summit planned for May 2018 in Kentucky to put the zones together.
  • Provide feedback on a final report.  
To get involved:  E-mail Dr Carolyn Pike (carolyn.c.pike@usda.gov) to be added to our lists and to join the conversation!