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close this bookRegenerative Agriculture Technologies for the Hill Farmers of Nepal: An Information Kit (IIRR, 1992, 210 p.)
close this folderNatural resources and their enhancement
View the documentOptimum Use of Marginal Land with Sgroforestry System
View the documentMultipurpose Tree Species and Their Uses
View the documentLive Fence: A Multipurpose Living Structure
View the documentTree Seed Collection
View the documentThe Forest and its Many Uses
View the documentBamboo Propagation and Management
View the documentThe Use and Conservation of Traditional Medicine Plant Resources
View the documentEthno-Veterinary Drugs: Reported Use from the Central Development Region
View the documentUnderutilized Food Crop Resources in the Midhills of Nepal
View the documentWhy Bee keeping? The Role of Bees in pollination
View the documentIntermediate Beekeeping in Nepal
View the documentImproved Terracing for Soil Conservation on Hill Farms
View the documentSmall Ponds for Water Conservation
View the documentRunoff Diversion (Mal Tarkaure) for Landslide Control
View the documentPlanning Erosion Control Measures
View the documentUnderstanding the Environment to Determine Possible Local Solutions to Soil Erosion
View the documentGully Stabilisation

Tree Seed Collection

One of the most important steps in the development of an agroforestry system is the proper collection and production of the seed. Tree seeds can also earn money for the hill farmer.

First, a good mother plant which is a moderate seed producer should be selected. If the tree has a large number of pods/fruits, it will produce smaller seeds of undesirable quality. If the plant has too few fruits, it will also give undesirable seed. Seeds which are either too big or too small are not good quality seed and should not be used for seed production. If the seed is to be collected for fodder, the mother plant should have more leaves and branches.

The appropriate time to harvest will vary from species to species and from locality to locality since plants are affected by several factors (e.g., climate, soil, rainfall, etc.). The table below indicates the dates for seed collection, seed sowing and seedling raising.


Baisakh (April-May)
Seed collection: Tanki, Painyo, Gogan Chilaune, Sal

Jestha (May-June)
Seed collection: Kutmiro, Chiuri, Kaoiralo, Nibaro, Seto-chuletro, Seto siris, Bhimsenpati, Phaledho, Gidheri, Palansh
Seed sowing: Kutmiro and Chiuri

Ashad (June-July)
Seed collection: Baddhar, Chiuri, Kutmiro, Khanayo, Nibaro, Dudhilo, Bhimsenpati, Phaledho, Syalphurso
Seed sowing: Baddhar, Chiuri, Kutmiro

Shrawan (July-August)
Seed collection: Khanayo, Gedulo, Khasreto, Jamun

Bhadra (August-September)
Seed collection: Champ, Kharsu, Kagati, Kapur, Drum stick, Dabdabe
Seed sowing: Ficus species, Kharsu, Kapur, Drum stick

Asoj (September-October)
Seed collection: Champ, Kapur, Katus
Seed sowing: Champ, Kapur, Katus

Kartik (October-November)
Seed collection: Lapsi, Utis, Kapur, Trifoliate, Khotesalla, Katus, Bhajparsa, Lakuri

Marga (November-December)
Seed collection: Lime, Utis, Kharsu, Ipil, Lemon, Lapsi, Lankuri, Sissoo, Trifoliate, Khotesall Rato siris.

Poush (December-January)
Seed collection: Sissoo, Ipil, Coffee, Khayar, Rato-siris, Panchpate, Utis, Bakaino, Bayer

Magha (January-February)
Seed collection: Sissoo, Sesbania, Bakaino, Coffee, Khayar, Rato siris, Bayer, Barro

Falgun (February-March)
Seed collection: Sesbania, Papaya, Bakaino, Gogan
Seed sowing: all remaining species

C/zaitra (March-April)
Seed collection: Tanki, Gogan, Painyo, Chilaune, Sal
Seed sowing: all remaining species

Generally, seed should be collected when fully ripe, but there are some exceptions (e.g., Lakhuri) which should be collected when green. Trees for seed collection need to be reserved, because lopping will not allow the tree to bear fruit/pods.

Methods for seed collection

1. Collecting seed from natural fall, e.g., Castanopsis indica, Quercus species.

2. Shaking the tree when the seeds are ready to harvest: Mango, Lapsi.

3. When the seed is out of reach for handpicking, various methods may be used for pruning seed-bearing branches, e.g.: Baddhar, Kutmiro, Champ, Ficus species, Utis, etc. Examples:

· use of pole with saw
· use of hooked branch
· throwing a rope with a weighted end to break off a seed-bearing branch.

4. Seeds may be collected by climbing into the crown of the tree. (A ladder is an appropriate tool for climbing trees.)

5. As soon as the seed is collected, it should be labelled indicating the place and date of collection, farmer's name, and type and amount of seed.

Methods for seed collection


This is also an important parameter to be considered by the seed producer. Some seeds cannot be easily removed from the fruit (e.g., sisso) and need to be broken off and separated by winnowing. Some seeds (e.g., Ipil, Koiralo, Utis, etc.) dry out in the tree and then split open. These species need to be collected before they split, lain out, and allowed to dry in the sun on a mat or on cloth.

Methods of seed extraction

Some fleshy fruits have stones and fruits inside and some do not have. For the stoney fruits (e.g., mango, laps), etc. the stone should be taken out for sowing after removing the flesh. Those which have no stone but have many embedded seeds in a fleshy part (e.g. Ficus species) should also be soaked in water; then crush and rub the fruits together by hand until the seeds are separated. Remove all floating seeds and pulp and drain off the water. Rewash the seeds and air-dry for two days, regularly stirring the seeds with a small stick.

Fleshv Fruits seed extraction


The storage of seed should be done according to the storage capacity of seed. For example, orthodox seeds which can be stored after drying in the sun without losing their viability like Leucaena, Koirala, Tanki, Ficus species, etc. can be stored for one year or more. Recalcitrant seeds lose their viability when dried, so they must be kept moist or sown immediately after extraction. Examples are Baddhar, Kutmiro, Champ, etc.