Friday, June 10, 2011

Terms commonly used in Tree Improvement

Progeny. The offspring produced from a parent tree. Progeny tests are established to determine the genetic worth of the parent trees or for determination of other genetic characteristics. Sometimes, a test of the vegetative propagules from a given donor is referred to as progeny test, but usually it is called a clonal test.

Population. A community of interbreeding individuals. No degree of relationship is assumed. The word stand is often used synonymously with population; at other times, stand referred to a group of trees of special interest within a population.

Race. Groups of populations that generally interbreed with one other and that intergrade more or less continuously. Many kinds of races are recognized; such as edaphic, climatic, elevational, and so forth.

Seed orchard. An area where superior phenotypes or genotypes are established and managed intensively and entirely for seed production.

Family. The progeny (offspring) of a parent tree that has been established in a seed orchard.  Generally, the term family is used to denote groups of individuals who have one or both parents in common.

Adapted family. A family that originates from a similar climatic and geographic region as the intended planting zone.

Control-Pollinated (CP) Family. Offspring produced by deliberately controlling the males and females during mating in conjunction with taking steps to block undesired pollen.

Open-Pollinated (OP) Family. A family that is generated from a known female (a tree or set of trees in an orchard), but the male (pollen) is unknown. It could have come from another tree in the same orchard or from a wild stand nearby.

Siblings. A group of individuals within a family are referred to as siblings; the group of related individuals when only one parent is common is called a half-sib family; when both parents are common, they constitute a full-sib family.

Rotation age. The age at which a stand of trees is to be harvested.

F-50. A term used to describe the estimated percentage of forking events that would be occur for a particular family assuming that unimproved trees on a given site would give 50% forking.

Mass Control Pollinated (MCP) or Control Mass Pollinated (CMP). The technique of creating a CP Family on an industrial scale. Commercially, use of the terms MCP or CMP may be for description or advertisement purposes depending on the company or organization.

Provenance. A group of trees from a geographic area

Selection. A tree whose genetic value has been quantified by testing its progeny in a structured experiment.

Based on: (1) The terminology used by the Tree Improvement Program ( (2) ZOBEL, B., TALBERT, J. (1984). Applied Forest Tree Improvement. The Blackburn Press, New Jersey, USA.

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