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Early Loblolly Pine Cone Collection in a South Carolina Seed Orchard

In the fall of 1978 and 1979, loblolly pine cones were collected from 14 seed orchard clones at the South Carolina State Commission of Forestry's seed orchard located near Sumter, South Carolina. Cones were collected on September 6, 12, 20, and 26 in both years. On each date, the collected cones were subject to the following five treatments: (1) shade with burlap cover and sprinkled, (2) shade without cover and sprinkled, (3) cones sealed in plastic bags and refrigerated at 38-40 0 F., (4) cones placed in burlap bags and airdried in sunlight, and (5) cones placed in burlap bags and airdried under 50% shade. Seeds were then extracted and cones were rated for degree of opening. No single treatment or date of collection clearly yielded the highest germination or greatest degree of cone opening. However, treatments 1 and 5 gave the best results throughout and more importantly, were the best treatments on the earliest collection dates giving nearly complete cone opening and germination averaging over 80%. It was concluded that loblolly seed orchard cones given the proper treatment may be collected up to 4 weeks earlier than the normal cone ripening period with good to excellent seed yield and germination.

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Author(s): T. D. Astriab, Roland E. Schoenike

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 1981

Section: Section 4: Seed Utilization and Seed Orchard Management