Nursery performance of American and Chinese chestnuts and backcross generations in commercial tree nurseries
Authors: Clark, Stacy L.; Schlarbaum, Scott E.; Saxton, Arnold M.; Hebard, Fred V.
Source: Forestry, Volume 85, Number 5, 25 December 2012 , pp. 589-600(12)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Abstract:The American chestnut [Castanea dentata (Marsh.) Borkh.] was decimated by an exotic fungus [Cryphonectria parasitica (Murr.) Barr] in the early 1900s. Breeding efforts with American and Chinese chestnuts (C. mollissima Blume) produced putatively blight-resistant progeny (BC3F3) in 2007. We compared two nut size classes for differences in seedling quality of bare-root stock grown in commercial nurseries. We compared the BC3F3 generation to parental species and other generations. Nuts in the large size class produced taller trees than nuts in the small size class, but sizing nuts prior to sowing did not reduce variability in nursery seedling size. Results indicate that overall seedling quality could be improved by culling small nuts, but seedling uniformity would only be improved by culling seedlings before planting. We recommend refinement of restoration efforts to match seedling size to site type and planting goals. BC3F3 chestnuts differed from Chinese chestnuts in 67% of tests, and were different than American chestnuts in half the tests, indicating not all American traits were recovered in this early phase of seedling development. Family differences within the BC3F3 generation were most apparent for mean nut weight, and only one BC3F3 family differed from other BC3F3 families in seedling growth characteristics.
Document Type: Research article
Publication date: 2012-12-25
- Forestry publishes refereed papers on all aspects of research, practice and policy that promote the sustainable development of forests, woodlands and trees. In considering suitability for publication attention is given to both the originality of contributions and their practical application. Preference is usually given to work undertaken in the temperate and/or boreal zones; only articles of exceptional merit from tropical zones will also be considered.