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Current seed orchard techniques and innovationsAuthor(s): Lawrence K. Miller; Jeffrey DeBell
Source: In: Haase, D. L.; Pinto, J. R.; Wilkinson, K. M., technical coordinators. National Proceedings: Forest and Conservation Nursery Associations - 2012. Proceedings RMRS-P-69. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 80-86.
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionAs applied forest tree improvement programs in the US Northwest move forward into the third cycle, seed orchards remain as the primary source of genetically improved forest tree seed used for reforestation. The vast majority of seed orchards in this region are coastal Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco), consistent with the high economic importance of this species. However, productive seed orchards are also in place for western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.), noble fir (Abies procera Rehd.), western redcedar (Thuja plicata Donn), ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Laws.), lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl.), western larch (Larix occidentalis Nutt.), western white pine (Pinus monticola Dougl.), sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana Dougl.), and Port-Orford-Cedar (Chamaecyparis lawsoniana (A. Murr.) Parl.). To be successful, seed orchards must be managed intensively, including: control of weeds, mammals, and cone and seed insects; graft and crown maintenance; strict identity control; irrigation; fertilization; crop stimulation; and ultimately, harvest of high quantities of genetically improved seed. Over the past 40+ years, seed orchard management practices have been developed to improve the reliability and size of cone and seed crops and reduce damage and loss from cone and seed insects, thereby increasing the efficiency of orchard operations. In this paper, we discuss the current state of the art in seed orchard management in the Northwest, with particular emphasis on Douglas-fir.
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CitationMiller, Lawrence K.; DeBell, Jeffrey. 2013. Current seed orchard techniques and innovations. In: Haase, D. L.; Pinto, J. R.; Wilkinson, K. M., technical coordinators. National Proceedings: Forest and Conservation Nursery Associations - 2012. Proceedings RMRS-P-69. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 80-86.
Keywordsgraft compatible rootstock, flower stimulation, cone and seed insect control, irrigation, weed control, Douglas-fir
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