The Tennessee Department of Agriculture Division of Forestry and Huber Engineered Woods LLC (HEW) are teaming up to initiate the Trees for Tennessee Seedling Program.
The program aims to provide an avenue for the establishment of as many as 1 million pine seedlings on at least 400 acres throughout the greater Tennessee Valley and Cumberland Plateau.
“The goal this first year is to get 232,000 loblolly pine seedlings onto family forest owner properties located in the eastern half of the state,” State Forester Jere Jeter said. “These seedlings will be 1.5 generation loblolly pine, which is a genetically improved seedling selected for superior growth characteristics.”
Loblolly pine is the most important softwood species in Tennessee and is used primarily in the manufacture of paper, oriented strand board (OSB), plywood and construction lumber. Although loblolly pine is important and significant as a timber species, it accounts for only about 4 percent of Tennessee’s 14 million forested acres, far below hardwood forest competitors such as oak, hickory and maple.