Introduction of Seabuckthorn and Research Trials in the Province of Quebec, Canada

Rousseau, H. 1 and Bergeron, D. 2

1 Institut de recherche et de developpement en agroenvironnement, 2700, Einstein, Sainte-Foy, Quebec, Canada G1P 3W8

2 Ministere de l’Agriculture, des Pecheries et de l’Alimentation du Quebec, 1665, Wilfrid-Hamel Blvd., Quebec, Canada G1N 3Y7

Seabuckthorn has been introduced, since many decades, in the Province of Quebec, Canada where it has been used as ornamentals. It is only in 1998 that it was first planted as a fruit crop. At the end of summer 2003, there were 25 hectares planted mainly with the Canadian cultivars "Indian Summer" and "Sinensis". Many other cultivars are currently imported in small quantities to evaluate their adaptability and performance under our climatic conditions. The main objectives of our research program are: 1) to find thornless cultivars suited for mechanical harvesting, 2) to evaluate two different harvesting techniques and 3) to determine the better cultivars for yield, fruit quality, oil production and pests and disease resistance. Preliminary results will be discussed. Up to now, the major phytosanitary problems encountered were the occurrence of Verticillium wilt (Verticillium dahliae) that caused, in some cases, up to 40 % plant losses and the introduction of the Eriophyd mites, Aculus tibialis and Aceria hippophaena, which also caused heavy damages to foliage and buds.