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Tree Improvement in Western Conifers: Economic Aspects

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The National Forest System's tree improvement program for ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Dougl. ex Laws) in the Pacific Southwest and the "progressive tree improvement program" for Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) in the Pacific Northwest appear capable of returning at least an 8-percent real rate of return on investment if short rotations are used or if tree improvement is accompanied by thinnings. A break-even, cost-benefit analysis indicated that interest rate and real-price increases in stumpage are the major determinants of profitability. The effect of program design was also investigated. The larger the area over which the breeding effort is applied, the greater the profitability, although large breeding zones increase the biological risk of nonadaptation to local conditions and of loss of the local genetic resource. The financial effect of increasing orchard seed yield was small unless the planting program could be expanded. In other words, financial gain would be slight if the increase in seed yield merely reduced the required acreage of seed orchard and associated costs.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Director, Raw Material Supply, Timberlands Division, Champion International Corporation, Stamford, Connecticut

Publication date: October 1, 1982

More about this publication?
  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.476
    Ranking: 22 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
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