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U.S. Department of Agriculture USDA Forest Service Southern Regional Extension Forestry Southern Regional Extension Forestry

Improved Strains of Douglas-Fir for the Northeastern United States

Provenances from the interior range of Douglas-fir were tested in Kalamazoo, Cass,and Osceola Counties, Michigan. Mortality, height growth, foliage color, spring frost damage, time of leafing out, and foliar moisture contents and drying rates were evaluated. Trees from Arizona and New Mexico (ARINEM race) grew fastest followed by trees from northern Idaho and northwestern Montana (INEMP). On good sites these provenances produced merchantable Christmas trees in 7-8 years. Trees from central Montana (CMON) and northern Colorado (NOROC) grew half as fast. NOCOL and SOCOL races suffered severe frost injury while ARINEM was moderately to heavily damaged. In contrast northern races (NOROC and INEMP) suffered relatively little damage. From the leafing-out data it was clear the correlation between leafing out and injury was significant. NOROC and INEMP races leaf out 2-3 weeks after the southern races and avoid frost damage. Also tall trees suffered relatively little damage. The Arizona provenance had the greatest foliar moisture content as well as the slowest rate of drying; and the ARINEM race was characterized by having the bluest needles of the material tested. Recommends ARINEM for Christmas trees where frost is no problem; where frost may occur provenances from northern Idaho may give better results. Using mixtures of the two races would reduce risk.

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Author(s): Donald H. DeHayes, Johnathan W. Wright

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Lake States Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 1975