One of the main species to be planted in the trophic enrichment forests foreseen in the ‘LIFE Bears with Future’ project is the cherry tree (Prunus avium). To begin with the production of locally sourced seedlings, in this month of June 2021, the project field team has collected 100 kg of cherry fruits in the north of León. The cherry tree is a regulated species, so it can only be planted from seeds collected in forest stands declared as an official seed source and all the seed collected in the different areas must be certified by the Castilla y León forest administration, to guarantee the suitability of the origin of the seeds and the traceability of the plant production process.
The cherry fruits have been collected in trees from the Seed Source FS/95/02/24/001, in the municipality of Cubillos del Sil (León), under the supervision of the environmental agents of the Junta de Castilla y León. The fruits have been transferred to the Central Forest Nursery of the Junta de Castilla y León, where the seeds will be cleaned and prepared for plant production. The amount collected will allow to obtain 50,000-60,000 seeds. We are evaluating the availability of fruit in other seed sources of the project area for future collections, and at the end of summer or during autumn we will proceed to the collection of other seeds of interest such as Alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus), Whitebeam (Sorbus aria), Strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) and other species.
On July 21, the cherry seed collection was completed with another 40 kg collected by the LIFE project team at the Seed Source FS-95/04/24/023 in Villablino (León).