Current issue: 54(4)
Seed orchards are the link between tree breeding and reforestation. This paper presents data on cone, seed and pollen production and seed quality gathered over 21 years in a Pinus sylvestris (L.) experimental seed orchard containing plots with 14 different combinations of stand density and targeted pruning height. The treatments’ stand densities ranged from 267 to 4000 stems ha-1, and the target graft heights ranged from 2 to 6 meters. Pollen production began at the same orchard age for all studied combinations of stand density and target height but the level of pollen production per hectare increased more rapidly in treatments with higher stand densities. In treatments with dense spacing, cone and seed production initially increased more rapidly than in treatments with wider spacing, thereby providing an earlier return on investment and a shorter seed production lag time. However, the levels of cone and seed production in such treatments over the entire study period were not appreciably different to those achieved in treatments with wider spacing and higher target height. The treatments did not differ substantially with respect to seed quality. These results show that comparable levels of seed production can be obtained with different combinations of stand density and target height, giving seed orchard owners and managers a wide range of viable management options.