Conserving the forest resinous seeds

I.C.A.S. Brasov Station Center for the Conservation of Resinous Seeds:

The Center for the Conservation of Resinous Seeds from Braşov was opened in the year 1966, within the Silvicultural Experimentation Station from the same city, being the only organized and equipped deposit for long retention.

Unlike the other deposits from around the country, at this one, before the conservation of the seeds we operate a reduction of their humidity up to specific optimum values and if necessary, their dewinging and selection. In the deposit there are mainly spruce, pine and larch seeds. If needed, there can be also kept duglas and even fir seeds.

The deposit is composed of 6 rooms from which 4 are equipped with cooling installations. In the cold rooms the temperature can be lowered and maintained constantly at the value of 0°C.

The total storage capacity is of 30.000 kg of seeds. The rooms have an area of 20-35 m2 and a volume of 75 up to 120 m3.

The technological process consists of the following main operations: reception-expedition, temporary storage, dewinging- selection, humidity reduction, bottling, storage, delivery.

The main equipment with which the Conservation Center was endowed consists of: cold installation (constrictor, aerotherma and thermostat that allow a constant temperature of 0°C), the installation for drying the seeds (heater with methane gas, electrical resistance batteries of heating with automatic adjustment and the dryer), elevator for the materials (that allows a vertical transportation of the seed bags and bottles between the ground floor and the basement). The Center was also equipped with 2 mechanical INCEF dewingers that are used for the seeds dewinging.

The Conservation Center was renovated in the year 2004 and equipped with a Dewinger B 1086 and a Lasti-F Swedish selector.

The operations that compose the technological process can be grouped in 2 distinct phases:

– conditioning the seeds

– conserving the seeds

The conditioning of seeds precedes the conservation and consists of dewinging and selecting the seeds (in the case of incomplete dewinged and selected lots), as well as reducing their humidity to an optimum water content that depends on the species, conservation period and thermal regime during keeping.

The conservation consists in bottling, storage in the cold rooms and periodical control of the seeds.

After conditioning, the seeds that have a high purity and proper water content are bottled. This operation is realized in a special room situated at the building’s basement. The seeds that come out of the dryer are guided with the help of the transporter- collector at a collector bunker situated in the bottling room. From here, they fall in glass bottles that are completely filled with seeds so that there remains a small quantity of air. It is considered that through the limitation of air volume in the container there are created conditions for a more emphasized repose of the seeds. At the same time, the humidity exchanges between the seeds and the air are reduced.

Concomitant with the bottling process, samples for the final analysis of the seed’s quality are gathered. The analyses are realized in the Laboratory for the seed’s quality control that functions in the same building.

For bottling there are used glass bottles with a capacity of 12-14 seeds kg each, with neck and special cork. After closing, the bottle’s neck is parafined in order to ensure a complete tightening.

The cost for the conservation of the seeds is completely compensated by avoiding the loss of the seed’s vitality that would appear if the seeds were preserved at the producing silvicultural units. The conservation of the resinous seeds in optimum conditions at the Center allows an annual, constant supply of the forest districts with high quality seed material in the necessary quantities.