Shortleaf Pine: A Species Slipping Away?

Both shortleaf and loblolly pine are native to the southeastern United States, where the two species have coexisted and occasionally hybridized for millennia. Historically, hybrids were rare. In the 1950s hybrids made up just 3 percent of the pines in shortleaf stands, but since then their numbers have skyrocketed. Today, just two or so generations…  More 

Future Longleaf Pine Forests in Virginia

Southeastern Virginia marks the northern boundary of the natural range of longleaf pine forests, which once stretched along most of the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains from Virginia to eastern Texas. Research aimed at finding the best seed sources to restore longleaf pine forests to southeastern Virginia area is also providing important clues for adapting…  More 

Cytogenetics and the Fate of Trees

  Nurul Islam-Faridi, research geneticist with the Southern Research Station (SRS) Forest Tree Molecular Cytogenetics Laboratory on the Texas A&M campus at College Station, TX, and adjunct professor in the university’s Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, is one of a handful of scientists in the world who can literally count the chromosomes inside the living cells of any…  More 

New Tools to Bring Back the American Chestnut

It’s been a long time now since American chestnut trees dominated the forest canopies of the East, so long that there are few people alive who remember stands with trees nearly the size of redwoods or the pungent smell of chestnuts in bloom that filled the forests before the blight came. It’s taken almost 30…  More 

Saving the Genetic Treasures of Southern Forests

People have saved seeds since the dawn of agriculture, but scientists at the Southern Research Station (SRS) are doing something new–combining modern genetics and the silvicultural strategy of seed orchards to preserve the genetic heritage of the South’s most at risk- and most ecologically important trees. Trees across the Southeast face exotic pests, shrinking ranges and…  More