The Harrison Experimental Forest

Located in the lower Coastal Plain in southeastern Mississippi, the Harrison Experimental Forest (Harrison) was established on the Desoto National Forest in 1934. By that time, vast stands of southern pines, mostly longleaf pine, had been cut from the estimated 31 million acres that made up the southern Coastal Plain forest. Located just north of…  More 

Faces of Innovation: Chuck Burdine at the Southern Institute of Forest Genetics

  Charles “Chuck” Burdine is a biologist with the Southern Research Station’s (SRS) Southern Institute of Forest Genetics (the Institute) located on the Harrison Experimental Forest (HEF), in Saucier, Mississippi. Chuck started his Forest Service career in December 1999 in the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) while still earning an Associate degree in forestry at Jones…  More 

Genetics to Support Healthier Pine Forests in the South

Fusiform rust, caused by the fungus Cronartium quercum f. sp. fusiforme, is one of the most serious diseases affecting loblolly and slash pines in the southeastern U.S. and causes an estimated $28 million in damages every year. As the primary source of pulpwood and saw timber for the U.S. forest industry, the economic importance of loblolly…  More 

American Chestnut, Past and Future

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 University, and…  More 

Shortleaf Pine: The Future Requires Fire

Shortleaf and loblolly pine are closely related and have always hybridized occasionally. “However, hybrids are now so common that they may threaten shortleaf pine’s existence as a genetically distinct species,” says U.S. Forest Service scientist Dana Nelson. “Our study is the first to show that fire helps maintain genetic distinctions between shortleaf and loblolly pine.”…  More 

Genetic Studies Reveal a Tree’s History to Ensure its Future

It can reach heights of 200 feet and live 500 years, and occupies landscapes across the western United States. Some say its bark has an unforgettable smell resembling vanilla or even cinnamon, and this tree is one tough cookie. It grows in a variety of soils and climates and survives fires that consume other species.…  More 

Fusiform Rust Never Sleeps

Fusiform rust, a fungal disease caused by Cronartium quercum f. sp. fusiforme, is the most damaging disease of slash and loblolly pines in the southeastern United States. There are currently over 60.3 million acres of slash and loblolly pine timberland in the Southeast, some of the most productive forests in the world. Forest managers rely…  More 

A Future for Freeze-Tolerant Eucalyptus in the South?

Recently published research by U.S. Forest Service scientists provides important first-time analyses of the potential impacts of introducing plantations of freeze-tolerant Eucalyptus into the South. Eucalyptus, a fast-growing tree native to Australia and Indonesia, is planted across large areas of Asia, Africa, and South America as a major source of hardwood fiber for paper and…  More 

The Forest Family: Relationships among Tree Species

Like all species, forest trees have their own web of relationships among themselves. Studying these evolutionary ties is the main focus of phylogenetics, and can assist in forest health assessment. “Understanding relationships among tree species can show how they interact with each other and with the environment,” says North Carolina State University scientist Kevin Potter.…  More 

New Partnership With Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Protects Natural and Cultural Resources

Climate change is upon us, and communities who use wild-harvested native plants for food, medicine, and cultural practices are identifying ways to protect their natural and cultural resources. The need to prepare for further climate change in the future and mitigate its effects on natural resources in the Southern Appalachian region has led to a…  More