Movement of plant material up or down in elevation, and in terms longitude (east/west) or latitude (north/south), are important considerations when planing reclamation work. However, unlike as is the case for the transfer forestry seedlings in B.C. — there are no guidelines for the transfer of plants used in reclamation.
It is my policy that when live material is collected for a specific project need, every effort will be made to collect appropriate material from as near as possible to the planting location (strive to stay within 30 km), and from a very similar elevation (strive to keep elevation transfer to within ± 200 m).
When already-existing nursery stock is needed for a project the same stringent stock transfer guidelines may not be possible. In these cases it is helpful to consider the B.C. forestry seedling transfer limits (see Appendix 3 in this document – B.C. Chief Forester’s Standards for Seed Use. Here the seed/stock transfer limits in the southern interior, and which apply mostly to conifer species although there is a category called “Other” which includes Aspen & Cottonwood, are as follows:
- 200 to 700 m upward elevation transfer (“Other” species 300 m)
- 100 to 700 m downward elevation transfer (“Other” species 200 m)
- 2° latitude northward transfer (same for “Other” species)
- 1° latitude southward transfer (same for “Other” species)
- Generally 3° (to 5°) longitude west transfer (“Other” species 3°)
- 2° longitude east transfer (same for “Other” species)
These transfer limits apply to movement of material with a Seed Planning Zone. Movement of material outside of its SPZ of origin is allowed as long as this is within the same Biogeoclimatic Zone, and adheres to the elevational and east/west & north/south transfer criteria.
Sorry, I did’t mean to confuse you – but, regardless if you grow or purchase plants, always consider the distance you are transferring the stock from it’s seed source origin.