Evaluation studies begin once a suitable number of collections representing the geographic distribution of the plant of interest from a particular region are obtained. Experiments evaluating the seed quality and production potential of each species using greenhouse grown transplants are often the first step of this process. At each evaluation site, replicated common garden studies are established, and data are collected for a minimum of two years. Later, following initial selections, field plantings utilizing plots established by direct seeding and transplants are installed and monitored for a minimum of 2-3 years.
Data collected from these field evaluations, demonstrated adaptation, and origin information of each population data are used to select populations of native plant species best suited for restoration use and commercial seed production. Species that are collected throughout a region or in more than one region will be evaluated at a minimum of 6 locations throughout the project area.