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Title: Nursery Selection of Loblolly Pine

Author: Snyder, E. Bayne;

Date: 1976

Source: Res. Note SO-212. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 3 p.

Publication Series: Research Note (RN)

Description: Selecting exceptionally tall loblolly pine seedlings from nursery beds is a promising and low-cost means of tree improvement, according to this 10-year study. From 1962 to 1971, 2,800 outstandingly tall seedlings were chosen from a nursery in south Mississippi and outplanted. Selected seedlings were about twice as tall as average-height controls. When the trees were measured, the 10 plantings were 3 to 10 years old. Selected seedlings generally survived as well as controls and had better height and volume growth. Height growth superiority declined somewhat with age, but superiority in volume growth remained fairly high. Thus, in the three l0-year-old plantings, selects were only 4 to 7 percent taller than controls, but they produced 20 to 46 percent more volume. Fusiform rust infections were somewhat more prevalent among selects than controls, possibly because fast-growing selects reveal the weakness better than slower-growing seedlings. Nevertheless, for every 1,000 seedlings initially chosen, there were at least 10 rust-free plus trees with twice the volume of controls. Costs of nursery selections are small compared to most tree improvement ventures. The tree breeder needs only a three-man crew for 1 week to select and plant up to 500 trees-50 controls and 450 selects. Documentation, measurement, and analyses will require less than an additional week. This test involved more selections and plantations than had been tried in the past. The next step in evaluating nursery selection is to compare progeny from selects with those of controls to see how much of the phenotypic gain is truely genetic.

Keywords: Survival, Cronartium fusiforme, volume growth, height growth, Pinus taeda

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Snyder, E. Bayne 1976. Nursery Selection of Loblolly Pine. Res. Note SO-212. New Orleans, LA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station. 3 p.


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