Forestry Service works to genetically improve pine trees

BY SUSAN WRIGHT For The Oklahoman Published: December 23, 2011
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The Oklahoma Forestry Service is working to genetically improve pine trees in Oklahoma.

At the Forest Tree Improvement Center in Idabel, Virginia pine is being genetically modified and tested to create more weather-hardy, faster growing trees that require less corrective pruning and staking.

“This will in turn shorten or reduce the time-to-harvest rotation, creating a faster return on investment while lightening the workload,” said orchard manager Justin Jones.

He said seeds from the Idabel orchard are sent to the state seedling nursery in Goldsby.

Each year, the Oklahoma Forestry Service sells at cost about 50,000 pine tree seedlings to Christmas tree growers across the state.

More information can be found at www.forestry.ok.gov.