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New orchard to provide better wood

26 June 2019

A 12-hectare Pinus radiata seed orchard is set to improve the quality of the State’s softwood resource.

The clonal seed orchard, established at the FPC West Manjimup nursery in 2018, contains 3,800 grafted plants.

Manager Forest Genetics Anjanette Chandler said the grafts were identified as superior selections based on 50 years of research.

“Western Australia’s radiata tree breeding trials began in 1969 and have enabled our breeding programs to identify the best genetic material available,” Dr. Chandler said.

These trials now form part of a national program run by the Southern Tree Breeding Association, which focuses on increasing the quality, value and supply of radiata seed.

“Once the orchard matures, it will provide enough seed to support the FPC’s softwood planting programs into the future,” Dr. Chandler said.

“The seed produced is expected to result in larger, stiffer and straighter trees with smaller branches, which will provide better quality pine for local industry.”