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Second generation Tramways Douglas-fir in Rankleburn Forest aged 34 years and production thinned.

Douglas-fir

A principal species

In its native western North America homeland Douglas-fir is one of the most valuable and important timber species. In New Zealand it is the second most important softwood after radiata pine, with three generations of Douglas-fir already planted into plantation forests here.

orchard seed AVAILABLE

Douglas-fir produces abundant seed crops at irregular intervals, from 2-10 years apart. Once again we have seed available from our Amberley orchard.

Our orchard is planted with a subset of parents selected from the 1959 NZ wide Provenance Trials. Our orchard collection is separated into 4 groups based on provenance. The table below provides some basis for comparison. It is based on data from the Douglas fir Cooperative (now Future Forests Research Ltd - FFR), taken from a 1999 study of the parents.

The study assessed trees for form characteristics: branch size, whorl clusters and stem straightness. Each feature was scored out of 10 giving a potential total of 30 for a perfect tree.  While we do not have trial means for comparison and this is parental rather than progeny data, it is important to remember that the original criteria were to select large (fast growing), straight trees from a range of Californian, Oregon and Washington provenances.  So we expect the progeny should be vigorous with very good form.

Seedlot

No of
Parents

Mean DBH
(cm)

Mean OWD
(Kg / m3)

Branch
Size

 Whorl
Clusters

Straight
Stem

Total
Points

% Perfect
Tree

Ashley

9

47

495

7

6

6

19

63%

Oregon

32

59

410

7

6

8

21

70%

California

24

51

424

7

7

7

21

69%

Washington

20

54

424

7

8

7

22

74%

(Source: Douglas-fir Cooperative Proceedings February 1999)

Fort Bragg Douglas-fir

As well as orchard seed we have limited quantities of seed from Fort Bragg stands in Nelson. Originating from a more southern part of Douglas-fir’s natural distribution, this strain grows faster due to earlier flushing creating a lengthened growing season.  However, the strain can be more vulnerable on severe (cold/exposed) sites.

Beaumont Douglas-fir (aka Tramway)

Beaumont Douglas-fir is widely planted in the South Island of New Zealand. It is a proven, hardy strain, growing well with good form even on exposed, higher elevation sites. Beaumont Douglas-fir flushes a little later than more southern Douglas-fir provenances so is less likely to suffer frost damage at this time.

We have good quantities of seed collected from stands planted with seedlings from the Beaumont seed stand. These stands represent a third generation of Douglas-fir plantations grown and selected in New Zealand.

Original Tramways seed stand in Beaumont Forest aged 47 years.

Tramways seed stand mother stand in Dusky Forest aged 91 years.

(Photos courtesy John Parish, Ernslaw One)

Douglas-fir price list

Seedlot

Source

Price / kg

Californian Selections

Amberley/Waikuku

$1,000

Oregon Selections

Amberley/Waikuku

$1,000

Washington Selections

Amberley/Waikuku

$1,000

Ashley

Amberley/Waikuku

$600

  • Prices exclude GST
  • There are limited amounts of Fort Bragg and orchard seedlots so don’t delay ordering. 
  • There are still good price discounts for large orders of Tramway seed.
  • While preference will be given to members of the Diversified Species Theme of FFR, orders will be filled on a first come first served basis.
  • If you require clarification please contact us (ask for Shaf).