Wed Dec 12, 2012, 07:29 PM
PufPuf23 (5,508 posts)
Coast Redwoods have been cloned for over 25 years and are used operationally. commercial planting
Coast redwoods most often reproduce by natural cloning as a species characteristic is reproduction after harvest or fire by coppice (sprouting). The cloning trial in the research below began in 1984.
Forest Genetic Resources No 23.
EARLY RESULTS OF A RANGEWIDE PROVENANCE TEST OF SEQUOIA SEMPERVIRENS
J. E. Kuser, A. Bailly, A. Franclet, W. J. Libby, J. Martin, J. Rydelius, R. Schoenike, and N. Vagle
180 clones of Sequoia sempervirens, representing 90 provenance locations throughout the natural range and elevations from 24 m to 945 m, are being tested for survival and height growth at 3 plantation sites in the U.S., 2 in France, and plots in Spain, Britain, and New Zealand. Early results indicate that provenances from the north end of the range survive best in South Carolina and suffer less frost damage in northern France. Provenances from Humboldt County have grown relatively tall at Brookings, Oregon; Lafayette, California; and Etanšon, France. Although there are no full scale plantations of the test at warmer locations, hedge orchards at Davis, California and Malissard, France indicate that more southern provenances (Santa Cruz and Monterey counties) may grow as fast or faster on warm sites. Preliminary recommendations for seed collections in Del Norte and Napa counties are made for further testing of cold tolerance, but it is not yet possible to recommend sources for warmer areas.
Figure 1. Range of coast redwood, Sequoia sempervirens (Little, 1971)
Redwood is one of the world's botanical wonders. The tallest tree in the world is a 110 m redwood in Redwood National Park, near Orick, California (American Forests, 1990). Redwood is a fire-adapted species with thick, fire-resistant bark and the ability to stump-sprout from a ring of burl tissue which surrounds the root-collar zone. It is unlike most conifers in this sprouting ability, and can grow new branches along its entire trunk to replace any killed by fire (Burns and Honkala, 1990).Coast redwood, Sequoia sempervirens (D.Don.) Endl. is one of the temperate zone's fastest growing trees. On the best sites, redwood can produce 30 m3 of wood per hectare per year (Fritz, 1945). Because redwood heartwood is decay-resistant, it is used for outdoor products such as siding, decking, garden furniture, stakes, shakes, and slatsfor air-conditioning cooling towers. Its decay resistance and beauty make redwood lumber worth more than pine or Douglas-fir. In California, for example, late 1992 retail lumber yard prices for "construction" grade redwood averaged 77 percent higher than those for comparable Douglas-fir; and for "clear" grades, redwood prices were 20 percent higher than Douglas-fir's.
California State Tax Board values for second-growth redwood logs averaged 148 percent of the value of Douglas-fir logs of the same dimensions, 230 percent of those for sugar and ponderosa pine (Pinus lambertiana and P. ponderosa) and 1148 percent of those for radiata (P. radiata) and shore pine (P. contorta var. contorta) (Libby, 1993).
Besides being valuable for timber, redwood is a spectacular tree which attracts many visitors to 100,000 hectares of state and national parks (Dewitt, 1985).
Before the Pleistocene, redwood or its close relatives were widespread, occurring in Europe, Asia, and North America (Chaney, 1934). Today, however, Sequoia sempervirens is confined to a narrow 720-km strip of the California and Oregon coast, extending 30 to 60 km inland. (Little, 1971) (see Figure 1). It was once thought that redwood grew in this belt because it needed the region's summer fog in order to survive; but more than 100 years ago, it was being successfully grown at Placerville, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and outside California at Seattle, Washington, Victoria, British Columbia, and Hawkinsville, Georgia (Kuser, 1981). It is now known that redwood can be grown in many parts of western Europe and in the Crimea, Turkey, Japan, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, Tasmania, and in the tropics at high enough elevation to provide temperate climate. As efforts to grow redwood in many parts of the world get underway, information on provenance differences becomes urgent. Use of the right or wrong seed source can spell the difference between success and failure with exotics (Zobel et al., 1988). The earliest provenance test of redwood was started in 1961 by Muelder and Hansen with seed of 10 populations from the central and north coast of California (Millar et al., 1985). It was evident to us by 1983 that a rangewide collection was warranted, with testing at locations in the temperate zones wherever there was interest in growing this species.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
In 1984, we made a 180-clone collection of redwood funded by the American Philosophical Society. Originally we intended to collect seeds for the test, but soon realized that this would be impossible in many parts of the range where the trees rely on stump-sprout regeneration and produce cone crops infrequently. We then decided to collect seedlings and use vegetative propagation to produce ramets for test plantations. This strategy had the advantage of removing one source of variation from analysis of results. As far as possible, we collected juvenile seedlings, no larger than 50 cm tall, in order to avoid cyclophysis.
more at: http://www.haabet.dk/users/sequoia/testsequ.html
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