The performance of blocks of clones in a radiata pine production forest.
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameBachelor of Forestry Science
Problem: Genetically identical clones of Pinus radiata are being planted in New Zealand plantation forests. There have been many clonal trials carried out; however there is a weakness in published literature surrounding the performance of clones in production blocks.
Method: Five comparisons in four of Pan Pac Forests Products production forests were measured. Three comparisons were measured at age 4.5 years old and two were measured at 7.5 years old. There were six Forest Genetics clones and three different control-pollinated seedlots measured in these comparisons. Each comparison had a different number and selection of seedlots. There were six different traits measured for the trees; diameter at breast height over bark, height, acoustic velocity, straightness, branching habit, and malformation.
The different traits were compared between the seedlots within each comparison. The differences in variation for diameter at breast height and modulus of elasticity were compared between clones and control-pollinated seedlots. Finally, the results by clone for the traits, excluding height, were compared to the expected performance supplied by Forest Genetics.
Results: There were differences in performance between seedlots. Four clones performed well across a range of traits. One clone performed well in the 7.5 year old blocks but not in the 4.5 year old blocks. One clone did not perform well in size and stiffness. Clones were significantly less variable than control-pollinated seedlots for diameter at breast height but not for modulus of elasticity. The performance of each clone in Pan Pac Forest Products forests was very similar to the expected performance provided by Forest Genetics.
Implications: There are clones that can produce desired yield, stiffness and form. Clones will provide a more uniform crop in diameter than control-pollinated seedlots. Pan Pac Forest Products can rely on Forest Genetics prediction of clonal performance as a guide to performance in their forests.