Research article Early performance of first generation seed orchard stock at Omataroa Forest.
Compartment 22, Omataroa Forest, consists of 14 ha of first-generation seed orchard stock and 63 ha of non-orchard stock. Both areas were planted in 1973. Recent measurements showed that no increase in vigour was evident in seed orchard stock but a considerable reduction in leader malformation seems to have been achieved. Seed orchard stock also had more highly multinodal trees and a significant increase in the number of branches per tree. However, indicies of branch size and internode length were not different from those of non-orchard stock, and no statistically significant differerences were shown for bole straightness or for the frequency of stem cones. A production thinning operation began in August 1983 to thin this compartment to 250 stems/ha and the volume extracted from seed orchard and non-orchard areas was compared. Seed orchard plots achieved a 16% increase in mean volume per piece extracted. This gain is probably due to reduced leader malformation in seed orchard stock, resulting in a higher conversion from standing volume to merchantable volume.
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