The lodgepole pine genetic improvement program in British Columbia commenced in 1975. The long range objective of the program is to provide seed of improved gentic quality for future reforestation needs in the province. Secondarily, the program is designed to yield information on the genetic structure of the species.
To date, emphasis has been placed on the establishment of a large breeding population. Four regions within the province have been designated as selection units based on their biogeoclimatic. characteristics, reforestation priorities and the economic importance of lodgepole pine in the region. The areas, ranging in size from 6400 to 1200 square kilometers, include the Prince George, Smithers-Houston, East Kootenay and Okanagan selection units. Parent-tree selections, totaling over 450 trees, have been completed in the first three units. The breeding population will be completed with the addition of approximately 200 more selections from the Okanagan; northern B.C. and selected superior provenances throughout the province.
Each parent tree selection has been vegetatively propagated by grafting at the Red Rock Research Centre. Nearly 5000 grafts have been made annually for the last 3 years with an average survival of 70-80%. The 10 best ramets from each clone have been established in intensively managed breeding arboreta where controlled crossing work will eventually take place. By the spring of 1978 approximately 10 hectares of orchards had been established.
Although genetic improvement programs for tree species are relatively long range research projects, lodgepole pine offers the potential of significantly reducing that waiting period, in large part due to its precocious flowering habit. Conceivably, a 25 year program can be completed in 15-20 years taking advantage of the favorable biology of this species and new techniques now available to us.
Further information on the progress of tree improvement work in lodgepole pine in British Columbia can be obtained by. writing the Research Division, B.C. Forest Service, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, B.C. V8W 3E7.
[Abstract contains full text of memo.]
BC Forest Service - Research Division. 1978. The Lodgepole Pine Improvement Program. British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Research Memo (FLNRORD). RM33
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: FLNRORD, Research Memo, British Columbia
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