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Seed Orchards

Forest Type 9 (FT9)

The aim of Forest Type 9 – Seed Orchards is to increase the quantity and quality of forest tree seed.

A seed orchard is a forest stand of selected individual trees which is isolated or managed so as to avoid or reduce pollination from outside sources, and managed to produce frequent, abundant and easily harvested crops of seed.

Available funding will be capped to a maximum of five hectares.

Eligible tree species 

FT9 supports the establishment of seed orchards compliant with Council Directive 1999/105/EC for the following species:

  • Pedunculate oak (Quercus robur)
  • Sessile oak (Quercus petraea)
  • Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus)
  • Spanish chestnut (Castanea sativa)
  • Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis)
  • Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris)
  • Silver birch (Betula pendula)
  • Downey birch (Betula pubescens)
  • Common alder (Alnus glutinosa)

Seed orchards for native tree species, in addition to those listed above, may also be funded on application. This may include, for example, ash (Fraxinus excelsior) with demonstrated putative tolerance to the ash dieback pathogen Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, or seed orchards of native broadleaf species of indigenous origin where the purpose of establishment is gene conservation.

Required documentation 

Applicants must include:

  • A Forest Management Plan (FMP)
  • An Orchard Description document to include:
    • A description of the species and genetic material that demonstrate that the basic material meets the minimum requirements to be certified as ‘Qualified’ or ‘Tested’.
    • A description of site location and orientation, including distance to potential contaminating pollen, soil description and suitability.
    • The plot layout taking into account pollination requirements and outcrossing (where relevant), methodologies envisaged for encouraging seed production, arguments in support of establishing the seed orchard being proposed and any other information that describes the proposal.
    • In the case of clonal seed orchards, the application must also include an indication of the number of genotypes, their origin and the number of ramets used per genotype.
    • In the case of breeding seedling orchards, the application must also include an indication of the number of individual parent trees which contributed sets of progeny for the orchard and the number of trees per family in the orchard to be established.
    • Details of crossing design and field layout.
    • Qualifications and experience of the key personnel involved.

Grant rates


Forest Type

Grant Rates
(excluding fencing)

Annual Premium

Number of Premiums
for Non-Farmers
Number of Premiums
for Farmers


Seed Orchards

€10,000 €1,142 15 20 

Additional support measures

  • Fencing Grant ensures that newly established forests are fully protected from browsing animals. 
  • An Environment Report Grant will be paid if a report from an ecologist or archaeologist is submitted. 

Relevant publication

Further information