Virginia Trees are Best for Virginia Land

Seedlings grown at our Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) nurseries are grown here in Virginia and, therefore, well-suited and climatized for Virginia land and climate. VDOF also has a robust research program to continually study and improve nursery practices and seedling stock for Virginia landowners.

Read more about our research program.

Pine Seedlings

The VDOF nursery grows pine seedlings, following practices developed over many years as a result of pine forest research through the VDOF research program.

Read more about pine forest research.

Loblolly Pine

Advantages of VDOF-grown seedlings include:

  • Improved genetics for fast-growing, straight, and disease-resistant seedlings.
  • Increased growth and yield over unimproved seedlings.
  • Increased profits from improved growth.
  • Completely dormant seedlings (which will withstand shipment and planting significantly better than non-dormant seedlings).
  • Top-clipped seedlings to controls the shoot/root ratio, contributing to excellent survival rates.
  • Pioneered pales weevil treatment.

Read more about our tree improvement and genetics.

The Importance of Dormancy

Virginia is toward the northern end of the loblolly growing range. Virginia loblolly seedlings go completely dormant because they are exposed to colder weather. Seedlings that are grown in other regions of the south (and exposed to warmer weather) do not go completely dormant. Dormancy is important because it allows our seedlings a longer storage time (up to two or three months) without affecting survival. Dormant seedlings can withstand shipment and out planting much better than non-dormant seedlings.

Genetically-Superior Loblolly Pine Seedlings

Virginia’s family selections are blended into four selections based on productivity from lowest to highest are:

  • Premium – Provides a 50% or greater gain compared to unimproved seedlings
  • Elites – Provides a 60% or greater gain compared to unimproved seedlings
  • Virginia Best – Provides a 65% or greater gain compared to unimproved seedlings
  • Control Pollinated – Provides a 90% gain or higher compared to unimproved seedlings.

For more detailed information on the genetics and p-value rating system, view our publication Virginia’s Best Genetics in Loblolly Pine.

Hardwood Seedlings

The VDOF nursery grows hardwood seedlings from acorns collected around the Commonwealth. In fact, the nursery depends heavily on citizens to collect acorns in the late summer and early fall to collect enough seed for our hardwood nursery. The nursery follows practices developed over many years as a result of hardwood forest research through the VDOF research program.

Read more about hardwood forest research.


Additional Resources

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An Assessment of Potential of Hybrid Poplar for Planting in the Virginia Piedmont
An Assessment of Potential of Hybrid Poplar for Planting in the Virginia Piedmont

Report provides four-year results from a study of 12 hybrid poplar clones planted in replicated yield trials at two locations in the Virginia Piedmont. Results through the first four growing seasons showed that the clone with the most rapid height growth was also most susceptible to frost damage and stem canker disease. Harold E. Burkhart, Amy M. Brunner, Brian J. Stanton, Richard A. Shuren, Ralph L. Amateis, Jerre L. Creighton.

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Forest Research Review 2006-08
Forest Research Review 2006-08

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: longleaf pine establishment methods, shortleaf pine establishment methods, American chestnut backcross breeding, white pine seedling handling and competition control methods, loblolly pine release tank mixes and surfactants, epicormic branching of white oak, and northern red oak planting.

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Forest Research Review 2007-03
Forest Research Review 2007-03

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: the loblolly pine tree improvement program, competition control for shortleaf pine establishment, competition control for white pine establishment, pruning methods for urban trees, white oak crop tree release, tree-of-heaven control methods, yellow-poplar thinning response, and northern red oak planting.

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Forest Research Review 2007-09
Forest Research Review 2007-09

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: financial value of improved loblolly pine seedlings, loblolly pine planting density, white pine seedling handling and planting study, pre-commercial thinning of loblolly pine, riparian buffer planting success, and tree-of-heaven control methods.

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Forest Research Review 2008-04
Forest Research Review 2008-04

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: row orientation in loblolly pine growth, fertilizer x planting density effects on loblolly pine growth, varietal vs. open-pollinated loblolly pine, North Carolina and South Carolina families of loblolly pine in VA, longleaf pine establishment methods, longleaf pine provenances, biosolids for fertilizing loblolly pine, interplanting loblolly pine, and southern red oak crop tree release and fertilization.

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Forest Research Review 2008-10
Forest Research Review 2008-10

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: loblolly pine seed orchard management strategies, advances in pine plantation silviculture, longleaf pine grafting methods, competition control for shortleaf pine establishment, tip moth control methods for loblolly pine, tree-of-heaven control methods, and northern red oak planting.

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Forest Research Review 2009-04
Forest Research Review 2009-04

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: potential for continued loblolly pine tree improvement, effects of thinning and fertilization in loblolly pine, American chestnut breeding program, longleaf pine provenance study, biosolids for fertilizing loblolly pine, interplanting loblolly pine, tip moth control methods for loblolly pine, and southern red oak crop tree release and fertilization.

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Forest Research Review 2010-03
Forest Research Review 2010-03

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: loblolly pine site index, stem sinuosity in loblolly pine, longleaf pine establishment methods, American chestnut, effects of competing hardwoods on loblolly pine, white pine competition control and storage time, tip moth control methods for loblolly pine, white oak crop tree release and fertilization.

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Forest Research Review 2010-10
Forest Research Review 2010-10

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: Forest Modeling Research Cooperative, potential for pine plantation woody biomass, stem forking in loblolly pine, biosolids for fertilizing loblolly pine, interplanting loblolly pine, loblolly pine growth after age two hardwood control, site preparation vs. release for loblolly pine growth, initial seedling size and establishment methods for northern red oak.

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Forest Research Review 2012-08
Forest Research Review 2012-08

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: effects of pruning in loblolly pine, effects of planting density and fertilizer on loblolly pine growth, varietal vs open-pollinated loblolly pine, biosolids for fertilizing loblolly pine, shortleaf pine provenance test, interplanting loblolly pine, tree shelter comparison for red oak in riparian buffers, crop tree release and fertilization of white oak and southern red oak.

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Forest Research Review 2013-08
Forest Research Review 2013-08

Research reports and updates from ongoing VDOF studies. In this issue: fourth cycle loblolly pine tree breeding, spacing impacts on loblolly lumber quality, fertilizer fate and carbon sequestration in loblolly pine, logging slash for skid trail stabilization, longleaf pine provenances, growth and value of low-density loblolly pine plantations, projected value of interplanted loblolly pine, biosolids for fertilizing loblolly pine, growth and value of loblolly pine after site prep vs. release, hardwood plantations in central VA, tree shelters for northern red oak

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Making Sense of the Genetics Market
Making Sense of the Genetics MarketViewforest-managementpublication
Making Sense of the Genetics Market
Making Sense of the Genetics Market

Report explains loblolly pine genetics, tree improvement, and the evolution of seedling markets, and is intended to help landowners understand their choices in seedling genetics. Steve McKeand is Professor of Forestry and Environmental Resources and Director, North Carolina State University Cooperative Tree Improvement Program.

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No. 141 Performance of Four Hybrid Poplars and Three Native Hardwoods in Plantations in Central Virginia at Age 14
No. 141 Performance of Four Hybrid Poplars and Three Native Hardwoods in Plantations in Central Virginia at Age 14RR-141

Report provides 14-year results of a test to compare plantations of three native hardwood species and four hybrid poplar crosses to loblolly pine for potential fiber production.  Of the eight species/hybrids tested, only one hybrid poplar cross – Populus trichocarpa x deltoides – survived and grew well.

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Virginia's Best Genetics in Loblolly Pine - Loblolly Pine Crop Highlights
Virginia’s Best Genetics in Loblolly Pine – Loblolly Pine Crop HighlightsFT0001

Forestry topic information sheet details why Virginia trees are your best choice, including cooperative research efforts, advantages of our genetically improved loblolly pine, benefits of top clipping seedlings, importance of dormancy, pales weevil treatments, and details about our genetically improved seedlings available for sale. Printed copies available.

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