Home Publications Tree Improvement and Genetics Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference 19th Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference (1987) Annual Top Pruning as a Crown Management Technique in a Young Loblolly Pine Seed Orchard to Reduce Height and Still Produce Flowers

Annual Top Pruning as a Crown Management Technique in a Young Loblolly Pine Seed Orchard to Reduce Height and Still Produce Flowers

Annual top pruning for five years in Westvaco's loblolly pine breeding clone bank, starting in the 2nd year after grafting, produced flat-topped trees that were 7.9 feet shorter than the unpruned control trees. Flower production per ramet was reduced an average of 30% from 1985 through 1987, but because overall productivity of orchards is low at a young age these losses are tolerable. Top pruning can be used as a crown management tool to produce more uniform orchards and to achieve a height reduction at a young unproductive age to extend the harvestable life of the more productive mature orchard. The flat-topped trees produced by annual top pruning, with all the flowers and cones at one height, may facilitate orchard operations such as supplemental mass pollination.


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Author(s): Davis M. Gerwig

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 1987

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