Randy Rentz
Research has indicated that Louisiana's unique geography and climate make the state's forestland potentially the most productive in the South for pine species. In order to meet landowners' demands for seedlings, the state's three tree nurseries grow some 25 million pine and 3-4 million hardwood seedlings each year. The seedlings are sold at cost to Louisiana landowners for reforestation purposes.

In addition to production of millions of tree seedlings, the Office of Forestry's reforestation activities include a tree improvement program. Through participation in the Western Gulf Forest Tree Improvement Program, a cooperative organization with members from five contiguous states, the agency selects superior pine parents from the state's forests. The selection process is complicated and stringent, taking into consideration such characteristics as a straightness and taper of trunk, size and angle of branches, insect and disease resistance, prunability and crown size. Scions (cutting or twig) from the superior parents are then grafted onto stock in two seed orchards operated by the Office of Forestry, and, in six to ten years, begin to produce their own seeds.

Loblolly, slash and longleaf pines are the orchard's focus with hardwood improvement projects underway. The seed orchards currently provide enough seed to produce the Office of Forestry's entire pine crop each year. Resulting superior stock is then planted by Louisiana's landowners to replenish one of our most important renewable resources, the state's forests.

Contact Randy Rentz

Louisiana Department of Agriculture & Forestry
Forestry Reforestation Branch Chief
276 Columbia Nursery Rd.
Columbia, Louisiana  71418
Phone: 318-649-7501


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