Forest Practice and Tree Improvement in the Northeast

If the benefits of genetic improvement of tree species are going to find their way into application in the forests of the Northeast, it will, in general, be necessary to follow silvicultural pathways different from those that are fashionable with hard pines in the Southeast. It is almost axiomatic that the use of genetically improved material depends on the planting of nursery-grown stock. Financial success with planting of trees for wood products is most likely to be achieved with species, usually representing very early successional stages, that grow rapidly in the juvenile stages. Most, but not all, of the species looked upon as valuable in the Northeast are of middle or late successional status; they are adapted to establishment as advance growth, grow slowly when young, and show most rapid growth at some later stage. Conversely, most of the pioneer species, such as gray birch, pin cherry, pitch pine, and aspen, which are the northern successional counterparts of loblolly and slash pine, are viewed as little better than weeds.


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Author(s): David M. Smith

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Northeastern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 1970

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