The Virginia State Nurseries are proud to be a member of The Cooperative Tree Improvement Program at North Carolina State University. The mission of the Cooperative is to economically increase forest productivity through the genetic manipulation of loblolly pine populations. Enhanced productivity through breeding, selecting and deploying superior loblolly pine families is a major goal of the Cooperative.
Benefits of Virginia Tree Improvement Research
- Due to the cooperative sharing of genetic material, all of the best families that are suitable for Virginia are in our program.
- Selections have continuously placed extra emphasis on properties (straightness, crown characteristics) desirable for solid wood products.
- Some families from other provenances and cold hardiness zones either fail in Virginia or perform erratically.
Advantages of Our Genetically Improved Loblolly Pine
- Improved genetics for fast-growing, straight and disease-resistant seedlings.
- Increased growth and yield over unimproved seedlings: Based upon field trials through age six, Loblolly
- Pine Premium Open Pollinated (OP) provides a 50% gain or higher; Loblolly Pine Elite Open Pollinated (OP) provides a 60% gain or higher; Loblolly Pine Virginia’s Best Open Pollinated (OP) provides a 65% gain or higher, and Loblolly Pine Control Pollinated (CP) provides a 90% gain or higher.
- Increased profits from improved growth.
- Our seedlings go completely dormant before shipping, and fully dormant seedlings withstand shipment and planting significantly better than non-dormant seedlings.
- We top clip our seedlings, which controls the shoot/root ratio contributing to excellent survival rates.
- Limited supply due to scarcity of seed.