Forestry Service’s Cone Orchard

Have you ever seen a tree tag and wondered what the information on it was used for? Well in this instance, our customer used our UV Stable Tree Tags to I.D. trees used to produce cone crops.

Greg M. Peters’ article “How the Forest Service Grows Millions of Seedlings Each Year” in the National Forests Magazine, by the National Forest Foundation, talks about his adventure going to visit the Plains Tree Improvement Area in Idaho. Also known as the Plains Tree Orchard, this facility, among others, produce seeds that the Forest Service uses to reforest millions of acres of National Forests across the United States.

In his article, Peters talks about how in the past, the Forest Service used to go out into the woods to gather cones, but today they use these orchards of trees to gather cones. This allows the forestry service to gather cones from trees with natural genetic resistances to disease, insect infestation, or that grow in a specific way or to a certain size.

Onsite at the orchard, cones are dried out and their seeds are used in controlled tests. These tests are carefully monitored so that only the best of the best seeds are planted in the orchard. As Peters calls them, these “Elite Tree” are then used for more field trials in the orchard, or can be taken out into the wild to be planted. In the article, it talks about the white pine blister rust disease that destroyed many trees over 60 years ago, but with the Forest Service finding certain trees that were resistant to the disease, they were able to collect cones and create an orchard of blister-resistant pine trees.

Read more on Greg M. Peters’ article “How the Forest Service Grows Millions of Seedlings Each Year”, and learn more about how the Forest Service has created some of the most productive forests in the world by collecting cones that contain the genetic material from the best performing seedlings cultivated and tested over decades.

Are you a part of the forestry service in need of tree tags? Contact us for a free quote.

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