Hybrids in the Seed Orchards

Shortleaf pine is under siege, and one of the threats has emerged in seed orchards. “In some shortleaf seed orchards, 10 percent of trees are hybrids,” says U.S. Forest Service research geneticist Dana Nelson. “Although the majority we’d consider shortleaf pine, even a few hybrids is enough to raise concern.” To some extent, shortleaf and…  More 

Shortleaf Pine: What’s in the Genes?

Despite shortleaf pine’s importance, relatively little is known about its genetics. “The lack of knowledge is especially apparent in this era of molecular genetics and genomics,” says U.S. Forest Service research geneticist Dana Nelson. Nelson and his colleagues recently reviewed shortleaf pine genetics, and their implications for restoration and management. The research team included Oklahoma…  More 

Diagnosing and Managing for Root Disease in Southern Pines

Southern Regional Extension Forestry (SREF) recently published a new technology bulletin on the biology, diagnosis, and management of Heterobasidion root disease in southern pines. U.S. Forest Service plant pathologists Tyler Dreaden, Southern Research Station (SRS), and Michelle Cram, Forest Health Protection, co-authored the publication with Jason Smith from the University of Florida and SREF’s David…  More 

Forest Health Research and Education Center Shares $3 Million NSF Grant

The Forest Health Research and Education Center (Forest Health Center), a collaborative project among the Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), the University of Kentucky, and the Kentucky Division of Forestry, will share a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation with researchers from Washington State University (serving as lead), the University of Tennessee,…  More 

American Chestnut, Past and Present

The Silvics of American Chestnut , a general technical report (GTR) available from the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS), describes the habitat, life history, special uses, genetics, and restoration of the American chestnut (Castanea dentata). The publication is the result of collaboration between G. Geoff Wang, the lead author, his colleagues at Clemson…  More 

Years After Apollo 14, Moon Pines Continue to Travel Around the World

Apollo 14 landed on the moon in 1971, the third manned mission to land on Earth’s only natural satellite. The spacecraft carried an unusual cargo – tree seeds. Astronaut Stuart Roosa — previously a smoke jumper for the U.S. Forest Service — carried several hundred seeds from loblolly pine and four other tree species with him on the…  More 

When American Chestnuts Return to the Wild

Until recently, most American chestnut studies took place in labs or in orchards, as scientists focused on developing a blight-resistant hybrid that would grow like pure American chestnut. “However, restoring chestnut requires field research to determine whether the hybrids can resist blight, root rot disease, and damage from insects and other diseases,” says U.S. Forest…  More 

Forest Health Research and Education Center

Sometimes it seems as if the forests of the eastern U.S. are losing the battle with invasive insects and pathogens – emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, Asian longhorned beetles, gypsy moth, chestnut blight, sudden oak death, thousand cankers disease, laurel wilt – the list goes on and on. Scientists and land managers continue to…  More 

Fulbright Grant Funds Three-Month U.S. Visit by Portuguese Researcher

To help keep the European chestnut from suffering the same plight as the American chestnut, Portuguese scientist and Fulbright grant recipient Rita Costa recently spent three months working at the U.S. Forest Service Southern Institute of Forest Genetics (SIFG) in Saucier, Mississippi, and the Forest Health Research and Education Center (FHC), Department of Forestry, at the University of Kentucky.…  More 

Where the Not-So-Mighty Chestnut Still Grows

A recent study by U.S. Forest Service, university, and state agency researchers provides baseline information on contemporary populations of American chestnut needed to support restoration of the tree to the forests it once dominated. Biologist Harmony Dalgleish from the College of William and Mary served as lead author on the research published in the journal…  More