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Stock Production and Handling Policies - 130-405

Description: In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, Ontario initiated a large provincial tree improvement program for black spruce and jack pine in the northern regions, and for other species, such as white pine and hybrid poplar in central and southern Ontario. Seed orchards and progeny tests were installed across the province. The tree improvement program remained a well-funded and important provincial program through the 1980’s, but as the MNR went through organizational and policy changes in the 1990’s, the program was scaled back significantly, and as a result, policies and procedures needed to keep track of the casual deployment of genetically improved seed and stock from these orchards has been lacking.

One of the issues surrounding the current tree improvement program in Ontario, is the lack of any clear provincial policy to manage the tracking of genetically improved seed that is used for production stock. Currently, seed that is being collected from rogued seed orchards is collected and used to grow production stock that is out-planted into operational cut-overs. However no system is currently in place that allows forest managers the ability to track the growth of this genetically improved stock. Forest managers need to be able to measure and account for any potential superior growth and yield of wood fibre on the landbase as a result of the application of genetically improved stock. And, from a forest management planning perspective, this information is important in order to ascertain any potential allowable cut effect (ACE) that may or may not be occurring on the landbase as a result of the use of genetically improved stock.

The objectives of this study were to develop a stock production protocol for genetically improved seed in Ontario that will allow forest managers the ability to track the growth and yield of out-planted genetically improved nursery stock, from  cone collection -to the seed plant -to the nursery -to the landbase. A secondary objective is to have the ability through this process, to capture the “Allowable Cut Effect” that may be occurring as a result of the use of genetically improved stock. And finally, this process needs to tie in with other intensive forest management parameters such as prime site, vegetation management, thinning, and other silvicultural treatments.

 

The Project Team: Randy Ford, NESMA, Dennis Joyce, OMNR, Jeff Leach, Tembec

 

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