On April 30, ten of the Friends of the Bugnet Plantation/Amis de la Plantation Bugnet met at the Crop Diversification Centre North (CDCN) to dig up some Bugnet\Ladoga Scots pine seedlings. We had members from Red Deer, Lacombe, Strathcona County, Sturgeon County, Lac Ste-Anne County and Edmonton. In all at least 30 saplings were dug up, these being the offspring of branches taken from the Bugnet Plantation pines and grafted to a root stock at the CDCN, at least 30 or 40 years ago. These mother trees are essentially dwarfs and will never grow taller than they are now, but they produce genetically pure seedlings. Two types of Scots pine were taken at the time, both from pines with a strong red bark trunk signature and one type with floppier branches which would shed rain and snow faster (this on the south row at the CDCN) and the other from trees with a bit fuller branches (north row), hence shadier. We are told that at the time, the idea was to have more aesthetically looking trees which were destined to be used as windbreaks on farms. The red bark which flakes off is another pleasing aspect of these trees. Genetically, the saplings we harvested are identical to the trees at the Bugnet Plantation and if protected from rabbits and other rodents will grow as tall, with time, as are the ones at the Plantation. They are now 100 feet tall. As the CDCN is no longer focusing in Shelter belt tree development, the management is pleased to have us come and get these saplings which otherwise get mowed down. From time to time. We thank Cameron Stevenson, Lead at the CDCN for allowing and accompanying us to the site. Thank you to those who donated to our Society following this collection.
One particularly fine 4 yr old sapling (from the south row) has been donated to the University of Alberta Botanical Garden (UABG) to replace the one of a pair that we had donated three years ago and which had died last spring.
A few of us will be visiting the Bugnet Plantation this month to see how it has fared over the past winter. I will post photos and a report.
Juliette Champagne, president, Friends of the Bugnet Plantation/Amis de la Plantation Bugnet