The Australian Tree Seed Centre is one of our National Research Collections. It is managed as a collection and research centre for Australian native tree species.

For over 50 years the Australian Tree Seed Centre (ATSC) has been collecting, researching and supplying quality, fully documented tree seed to both domestic and overseas customers. Collections of seed are sourced from wild populations and genetically improved seed from our domestication and improvement programs.

We maintain a database of all our seedlots which includes location and collection information as well as seed germination rates. The database also has an online search and order function.

ATSC seed collector sieving acacia seed on an outback track.

An internationally important seed collection

The ATSC was formed in 1962 with a mission to collect and distribute seeds of Australian tree species to researchers and planters throughout the world. Initial collections were supported by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), in recognition of the fact that Australian tree species are fast growing and capable of producing wood for energy, construction and fibre in the world's developing countries, which were undergoing explosive human population growth and deforestation.

The ATSC has collected, stored and dispatched thousands of seedlots from that time, during which species of eucalypt, acacia and casuarina have become global staple wood and fibre crops. In addition to the seed, the ATSC has been instrumental in providing technical support and training in germplasm management and tree breeding to people in developing countries, particularly in Asia and the Pacific, through Australian government aid programs.

Since the 1990s, the ATSC has become active in exploring uses for Australian tree species for environmental rehabilitation at home and abroad. Commercial re-establishment of trees on farms to address soil degradation and salinity in the wheat-sheep belt, restoring biodiversity, carbon sequestration, coastal protection from cyclonic winds and tsunamis and bioenergy production have been drivers for research. The ATSC has established a network of field trials in Australia and in partnership overseas to assess and improve the genetics of a variety of key species with industrial and land rehabilitation uses.

Acacia Cyclops seed with red arils.

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