Comparison of thermal and thermomechanical methods of seed extraction from larch cones based on two case studies
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Department of Biosystems Engineering, Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences-SGGW, Nowoursynowska 164, 02-787 Warsaw, Poland
Final revision date: 2022-06-02
Acceptance date: 2022-06-06
Publication date: 2022-08-02
Corresponding author
Ewa Tulska   

Department of Biosystems Engineering, Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Warsaw University of Life Sciences–SGGW, Nowoursynowska 164, 02-787, Warsaw, Poland
Int. Agrophys. 2022, 36(3): 197-206
  • Efficiency of seed extraction depends on extraction method and provenance of cones
  • Larch cones can be extracted by thermal and thermomechanical methods
  • Methods depends on time of application of seeds: storage or direct sowing
  • Thermal method of seed extraction is shorter and less energy-consuming
  • Thermal method of seed extraction with moistening from cones is safer for seeds
The paper analyzes two seed extraction methods used by Polish silvicultural seed extractories. The analysis involves cone batches as well as individual cones processed in extraction cabinets. During thermal extraction, the cones were dried (10 h), moistened with water (10 min), and dried again (10 h). During thermomechanical extraction, the cones were dried for a much longer time (40 h), and then crushed in a mechanical unit (20 min). The two examined cases of seed extraction were compared in terms of the size, weight, and moisture content of the cones involved, the steps in the extraction process, as well as the quantity and quality of the obtained seeds. Each of the extractories made use of cones of a different provenance, which differed significantly from each other. In order to compare the different seed extraction methods, the same batch of cones collected from one geographic locality should be used. The results of a process analysis show that the thermal method was superior in terms of energy efficiency and duration. The seeds extracted using the two methods were of the highest quality (class I), which indicates that in both cases the extraction process was conducted appropriately and did not cause the quality of the seeds to deteriorate.
We would like to thank Mr. Krzysztof Rostek and Mrs. Jerzyna Kojder of the Department of Silviculture, the Directorate-General of the State Forests for valuable information concerning larch seed stands and extraction facilities: the Czarna Białostocka Extractory and the Forest Seed Centre in Równe in Dukla Forest District for the possibility of conducting scientific research.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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