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Genetic gain in forest seedlings:  Nick Muir, CF

Are tree farmers inherently different than other farmers?  Successful farmers plant and cultivate the best genotypes available for the product they wish to produce.  Tree Farmers should be not different.  Today more than ever before detailed information on genetic improvement of Loblolly and Slash pine is available directly to clients.  International Forest Company (IFCO) is a full member of the major tree breeding cooperatives in the Southern US and we deliver that knowledge through easy to understand genetic gain sheets.

Selection for genetic gain in southern pines is product focused.  All material is rated for level of productivity gain over unimproved seed lots.  Increase in volume growth alone will have a significant effect on the profitability of pine stands; for this reason gain in volume growth is the most commonly sought metric of genetic gain.   At IFCO we back up our high volume producing families with other desirable traits (characteristics) such as stem straightness, reduced forking and rust resistance.  These form traits insure that a larger proportion of harvest volume is sold into the highest value products.

PRS and Star Rating Sheets

Data from each of the breeding cooperatives is clearly described and illustrated on the respective genetic gain sheets.  East of the Mississippi River PRS sheets are available for the improved Loblolly families that IFCO sells.  For Western Gulf region Loblolly, IFCO provides Star Sheets with genetic gain estimates and deployment recommendations.  For Slash pine, IFCO’s proprietary Star Sheets provide gain estimates and deployment recommendations across the entire planted range of the species.

We invite you to request genetic gain sheets from IFCO or any other seedling provider that you use.  Let our staff guide you through the decision on which families to plant, based on the location and objectives of your future timber stand.

Click on the link below for a preview of a Loblolly Pine PRS information sheet:

Loblolly PRS CP047

International Forest Co.



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