Using pre-disturbance information provided by the client and visual evaluation of the site characteristics, our forestry staff can develop a planting prescription that provides planting densities, tree and shrub species and the spatial distribution of the stock on site. The reforestation plan will be developed to meet the client’s Revegetation Plan or the 2010 Reclamation Criteria for Wellsites and Associated Facilities for Forested Lands.


Seedlings supplied by Boreal are grown at the Bonnyville Forest Nursery to exact specifications. The nursery has developed propagation techniques for a wide range of native tree and shrub species so that Boreal can provide a diverse species mix to its clients, similar to that found pre-disturbance.

See the Seedling Growing Schedules and Stocktypes page for information on seedling ordering information and timelines.


Spring Dormant Seedlings

Bonnyville Forest Nursery operates freezer storage facilities on site for overwintering seedlings. Seedlings are stored at -3 degrees Celsius from harvest in November until the client requests the stock for planting in the spring. Proximity to the planting area makes it relatively easy for clients to have the seedlings transported to their sites in minimal time.

Prior to planting the stock must be conditioned by thawing the seedlings in controlled conditions. The thawing process can take up to 5 days. For this reason, the nursery requires a 5-day notice prior to pickupin order to ensure that all of the stock has thawed prior to reaching the planting site.

If Boreal is providing stock and planting services, we will coordinate delivery to the planting site with the planting contractor. Seedling stock is transported in specially designed insulated seedlings transport units fitted onto crew cab trucks. This allows us to maximize seedling health during transportation to site and minimize the logistical issues of transporting crews.

See Stock and Growing Schedule >

Summer Hotlift Seedlings

Summer hotlift seedlings are conditioned for planting while in the growing facility. Seedlings are harvested as close as possible to the planting date and held in a cooler facilty at the nursery until pickup.

If Boreal is providing stock and planting services, we will coordinate delivery to the planting site with the planting contractor.

See Stock and Growing Schedule >


Boreal collects dormant woody willow and balsam poplar material for reclamation by direct staking or to process into cuttings to grow rooted plug container stock.  Woody material is harvested when donor plants are dormant, between leaf senescence in the fall and leaf flush in spring, and stored at -3 to -4 C until processed.

Boreal offers a full range of dormant woody material propagation services including collection, freezer storage, cutting processing, rooted plug greenhouse production, direct staking and planting.


Lite-Step Silviculture Services provides dedicated oilfield planting crews generally consisting of one supervisor overseeing five planters. The tree planters come to us with a high degree of reclamation and reforestation experience. They are physically fit for the job and have received extensive health and safety training and client orientations. We maintain a Short Service Worker program to mentor and monitor new planters and guarantee that each new planter has at least one experienced planter to oversee their work.

Lite-Step Silviculture Services is able to provide off-road vehicles to transport planters and seedlings to sites not serviced by high grade roads. The crews have experience with helicopter shows.

Call for planting rates.


Reforested sites should be monitored for a period after planting to ensure that the reforestation is on track to meet the requirements of the client’s Revegetation Plan or the 2010 Reclamation Criteria. There are many factors that influence the success of seedling establishment including summer and fall moisture conditions, the amount of snow cover in the early years, and the amount of competing vegetation.

Boreal can provide post planting evaluations and recommendations for any remedial action to ensure successful reforestation establishment.


Our clients are not always able to provide the seed and vegetative propagules from appropriate sources to grow the stock they require.  Boreal Horticultural Services has extensive experience in procuring and collecting the material needed to grow native tree and shrub reforestation seedlings for deployment throughout Alberta.  We maintain a comprehensive seed inventory for most species native to Northeastern Alberta that are commonly deployed on reforestation sites.

We can provide the following seed collection services on our clients’ behalf:

  • Obtain permission to collect seed and vegetative material on public land from the Province of Alberta.
  • Conduct collections to satisfy the requirements of the Alberta Forest Genetic Resource Management and Conservation Standards (2016).
  • Transport the material to a registered Seed Processing Facility.
  • Process or arrange for the processing of the seed and vegetative materials.
  • Register and deliver the seed to the Province of Alberta for storage.

Since collection and processing procedures vary greatly by species Boreal Horticultural Services will provide a detailed costed proposal for each collection project.

Call us to discuss your Seedling & Reforestation Needs


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