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Seed orchard Douglas-fir seed now available

Douglas-fir is NZ's second most important forestry species, with over 6% of the planted area. It is both an internationally recognised and preferred structural timber species. It is also the species of choice by forest owners in snow prone areas of both the North & South Islands.

As with Radiata pine, Douglas-fir has had its own breeding programme dating back to 1955 when seed was imported for a series of provenance trials. This programme stalled somewhat in the late 70's because of Swiss Needle Cast – it was restarted in 1988 and continued from 1993 under the auspices of the Douglas-fir Coop and more latterly Future Forests Research.

The programme has followed the traditional route of provenance and progeny selections & trials culminating in grafted clonal seed orchards being established at Ettrick and Amberley. Increasing quantities of seed from these orchards is now available to growers for new plantings. It is estimated that stands grown from this seed will have a 20% improvement in growth & form characteristics and a 10% increase in stiffness. This is a huge improvement over the more traditional seed sources used for raising planting stock. For further information please contact Future Forests Research

Douglas-fir seed orchard at Ettrick