Comparison of shortleaf pine families and seed sources in some Ouachita National Forest progeny testsThis article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.
Shortleaf pine (Pinus echinata Mill.) has declined significantly (by over 50 percent) across its range due in part to a lack of both artificial and natural regeneration. A series of shortleaf pine progeny tests, established rangewide from the late 1970s into the early 1990s, offers promise for addressing some of the silviculture and restoration concerns related to this decline. Eighty-four of these shortleaf pine progeny tests were established on the Ouachita and Ozark-St. Francis National Forests. These 33-family (on average), full-sib progeny tests were produced from parent trees growing in the Mount Ida Seed Orchard. These parents originated from three geographic seed source regions in Arkansas and Oklahoma: East Ouachita, West Ouachita, and Ozark.
In 2018 and 2019, we remeasured diameter at breast height (d.b.h.), tree height, and survival and recorded general tree health conditions from seven well-stocked progeny tests that were installed in the East and West Ouachita regions. We combined our measurements with those taken in the past to help determine if performance differences over time could be found among these shortleaf pine families. Our preliminary analysis indicated differences in d.b.h., height, and survival—information that should help silviculturists making decisions about which shortleaf families may prove most useful for restoration and tree improvement purposes in the region.