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In th is issu e:

WINTER 2013

Page 1: New USDA Zone Map Change: Climate change and forest management Page 3: From one forester to another: Mitigation turns back the clock Page 4: SWE Group: Setting the bar high in ecological mitigation Page 5: ArborGen seedlings donated to Dixie Plantation: First Lost Pine delivery in TX Page 6: Tip Moth Treatment: How to make this tough economic decision Page 8: Seedlings are Fragile: Guide to caring for seedlings for maximum survival

Oh the  weather  outside  is  frightening  …   Itʼs not your grandfatherʼs climate, and neither should your forest management be.  

For the

first time since 1990, the USDA has revised the official Plant Hardiness Zone map, reflecting the change in climate. Dr. Kim Coder, professor of tree biology and healthcare at Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources says, “The hardiness didn’t move a little bit – it jumped. Georgia actually moved 125 miles north.” Coder says, “We’re really seeing a great change in hardiness zones and, since it’s based on historical data (1976-2005), the new map is still actually behind current climate conditions. Particularly when you realize that 2012 was a banner year for temperature increases and all the ecological changes that puts into motion.” According to the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), 2012 had the warmest first 11 months of any year on record for the lower 48 – a remarkable 1.0°F above the previous record. According to the U.S. Global Change Research Program “Minor to profound impacts could be in store for this region's forests if climate change results in shorter winters, longer drier summers,

increased frequency of flooding and summer droughts.” Coder compares what is happening to the cogs in an old-fashioned watch – when one starts moving, it sets four others in motion. And the forest ecology system is the same. “It’s important to manage the whole ecosystem of the forest,” says Coder, “and the ‘new normal’ climate is setting a lot of other things in motion.” Coder says that an increase of 4 degrees on average adds about 20% more energy into the climatic system, which means more storms, more winds, more energetic summer storms, etc. It also means that the sensible heat affect on trees and their pests is significantly higher. In these types of conditions, trees use a lot more of their stored water and food, and when it’s drought conditions on top of increased temperatures, trees really get stressed. It’s kind of like heat stroke for trees. Changing pest and invasive species populations also add to the stress factors. Warmer winters can mean new and different pests or some you haven’t seen in a while. Southern pests are being found farther north. “Pests that might not normally attack a healthy

tree will have a field day on trees that are drought and heat stricken,” says Coder. “Pests and invasive species that have a longer growing season could become more of a problem than in the past – they may lose their predators – the dynamics of the ecosystem change.” “Management of forest systems requires anticipating what stress and pest levels could be and doing what you can to mitigate,” says Coder. ”Your woodlands may require more or less pest management than last year. We can’t do anything about the climate, but we can manage the impact by updating our behaviors to roll with the punches and maintain productive and healthy forests.” Climate, science and silviculture have all changed a lot in the last 20 years. “If you’re still managing your forest the way your grandfather did, it’s probably going to cost you money and productivity,” says Coder. “You’ve got to keep up with the times if you want to protect your resources.” He recommends that you be sure there is adequate moisture before you schedule seedling planting, read all of the (Continued on Page 2.)


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Winter 2013  

TREELINES Oh the weather outside is frightening … (Continued from Page 1.)

instructions on your chemicals carefully and get advice and help from a local professional forester. “Your land is your legacy – and the legacy of your community. It’s up to you to protect it.” So check out the new USDA map. It’s now an interactive GIS-based map and uses better weather data including factors such as prevailing winds, the presence of nearby bodies of water and the slope of the land. You can study the map by region or by ZIP code. David Wolfe, a professor of plant and soil ecology at Cornell University says the revised map “gives us a clear picture of the ‘new normal’ and will be an essential tool for natural resource managers as they begin to cope with rapid climate change.” USDA experts  suggest  a  “5-­‐R”  strategy  for  forest   and  natural  resource  management  in  the  face  of   climate  change:  Increase  Resistance;  Promote   Resilience;  Enable  Response;  Encourage   Realignment;  Implement  practices  to  Reduce  the   human  influence  on  climate.   NDCD:  www.ncdc.noaa.gov   USDA  Map:  www.planthardiness.ars.usda.gov   Regional  &  State  Climate  Offices:  www.stateclimate.org  

Increase Resistance. Promote Resilience. Are you planting the right seedlings for best growth in harsh climates, drought and pest invasion? • •

Experts Agree. The “new normal” climate is going to be tougher on Southeastern forests. Protect Your Investment with the best genetics for your location and desired end results.

Ask your ArborGen representative which seedlings will give you maximum growth, resilience and profit.

Call 888-888-7158 Ask about Varietals, MCP® and Containerized seedlings for maximum growth and performance under harsh conditions.

 ©  Copyright  ArborGen  Inc.  2013  

These 4-yr-old AGV 125 trees had severe tip moth attacks in year 2 & 3 and still exhibit good growth & form.

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TREELINES

From one  forester  to  another  …  

Mitigation: Turning   back  the  clock.   Geoffrey Hill, RF, CF, Georgia and Upper Piedmont Seedling Sales Coordinator

I work with clients in 15 states providing customer support and seedling sales. One exciting aspect of my job is supporting wetlands mitigation/stream restoration projects involving restoring or enhancing areas to offset impacts to existing wetlands from agriculture, landuse conversion and development. With nine species of Pine, 77 species of hardwood and wildlife shrubs, containerized Atlantic White Cedar, and Cypress – all allocated with the proper seed

source for our customers’ planting sites. – ArborGen strives to be a "one-stop shop" for quality reforestation stock. We also offer delivery options from UPS and regular freight deliveries to custom-loaded turnkey refrigerated van services. Mitigation basically turns back the clock to the original landscape, restoring the hydrology in a forested setting. Once a site has been restored through mitigation, it is for perpetuity and must be maintained to the standards outlined in the original permit. It has become a big business, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – the agency responsible for issuing permits for development projects – estimates a need for around 45,000 acres of compensatory mitigation a year for the permits they are issuing nationally. Mitigation is a complicated and precise process and involves bringing together experienced financial, legal, tax, real estate and environmental experts to manage the entire process.

Soil, Water  &  Environment  Group   Setting  the  bar  high  in  ecological  mitigation

Soil, Water, & Environment Group (SWE Group), based in Raleigh, N.C., has focused on a variety of ecological mitigations involving hardwood tree planting projects. Scott Frederick, president and founder, received a B.S. degree in biological and agricultural engineering, followed by an M.S. in forestry with a minor in soil science from North Carolina State University. He has considerable experience in ecological restoration, stormwater systems, soil science, environmental assessments, reuse and wastewater application systems for municipal and agricultural wastes using forest systems and watershed management. (Continued on Page 3.) ©  Copyright  ArborGen  Inc.  2013  

ArborGen has supplied many wetlands mitigation and stream restoration projects from Florida to Pennsylvania and Texas to Ohio for over 10 years. Our diverse tree species offerings, expertise in seed allocation and first-rate customer service make us a good fit for these types of projects. We have a strong record of support for successful projects and have plenty of references that we would love to share with you. ArborGen has supplied seedlings for Soil, Water & Environment Group (SWE Group) based in Raleigh, North Carolina, since the 2007/08 planting season. Read the accompanying story of their nearly 400-acre restoration of agricultural row cropland to a complex of headwater and hardwood flat communities and stream buffers. Geoffrey Hill has been in the forestry business for nearly 33 years, with a BSF from West Virginia University. He serves as a regional and district chair of the GA Tree Farm Program, and is a member of multiple organizations. He is a registered forester in Georgia, SAF Certified Forester, certified prescribe burn manager and a commercial pesticide applicator. You can call Geoffrey at 912-655-1725 or email glhill@arborgen.com

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Soil, Water  &  Environment  Group  

Setting the  bar  high  in  ecological  mitigation   (Continued from Page 2.)

One of the largest projects SWE Group has completed is the Flat Swamp Neuse River Riparian Buffer & Nutrient Offset Mitigation Bank located in Craven County, North Carolina. In the spring of 2009 they restored agricultural row cropland to a complex of headwater and hardwood flat communities and stream buffers pursuant to the Neuse River Buffer and Nutrient Offset regulations mandated by the Division of Water Quality for the State of North Carolina. The endeavor involved SWE Group, Flat Swamp, LLC, Quality Woods and Greenvest, a mitigation banking company located in Annapolis, Maryland. Approximately 360 acres were subsoiled two to four weeks before being planted. This was done in a serpentine fashion rather than in straight rows to break up the viewscape from perimeter roads and to make the restoration have a more “natural” look. Danny Reynolds, owner of Woodland Vegetation Management (WVM) in Farmville, North Carolina, provided this service as well as herbaceous weed control and spot-mowing for the first two growing seasons during and after planting. WVM also planted approximately 600-700 stems/acre of Willow Oak, Water Oak, Overcup Oak, Cherrybark Oak, Swamp Chestnut Oak, Shumard Oak, Swamp Blackgum, Buttonbush, Bald Cypress and several other native species equating to approximately 250,000 seedlings. ArborGen delivered these onsite in refrigerated vans custom-loaded according to SWE Group’s vegetation planting plan that accounted for differing hydrology and soil conditions on site. WVM planted the tract in about two weeks using two rubber-tired tractors pulling hardwood, mechanical tree planters. The site was flat and very accessible by a perimeter road system going around the entire tract. Thirty-eight 10 meter X 10 meter vegetation plots were monitored initially to establish a baseline and    ©  Copyright  ArborGen  Inc.  2013  

Winter 2013   again in October after the first growing season in 2009. During both monitoring periods within the first year, planting and seedling survival was found to be 99%. These plots were based on the Carolina Vegetation Survey (CVS) protocol, a system of vegetation monitoring established in North Carolina to provide consistent monitoring within all ecological mitigation projects. In December 2011 several three-year-old willow oak were 12’ tall. And in the fourth year of monitoring, trees are exceeding 20’ in some areas. A portion of the buffer mitigation credits have already been sold and SWE Group is very pleased with the overall results and counts it as one of the most successful buffer restoration projects they have done in North Carolina. It sets the bar high, exceeding state standards for success criteria in all categories. Frederick chose ArborGen seedlings because the South Carolina SuperTree Nursery near Blenheim is convenient for small projects, and the turnkey refrigerated van service is ideal for large planting projects. Ontime deliveries facilitated smooth planting during ideal planting windows. Frederick adds, “I can count on ArborGen seed sources being high quality, lifted and stored well,  properly allocated, of uniform seedling size, and their target size is ideal for machine planting.” SWE Group can be reached at 919-831-1234 and WVM can be reached at 252-753-9288.

“Environmental quality and economic growth do not have to be opposing forces. The avalanche of money spent fighting these normally litigious concepts can be better spent promoting sustainability.” Doug Lashley, President & CEO, Greenvest LLC

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ArborGen Outreach

75,000 Longleaf  Pine  Seedlings  Will  Help  Establish  Ecosystem  

ArborGen’s partnership  and  donation  help  College  of  Charleston  Foundation  restore  Dixie  Plantation  

ArborGen has formed a long-term partnership with the College of Charleston Foundation (the Foundation) to support its forest conservation and restoration efforts at Dixie Plantation and agreed to donate 75,000 Longleaf Pine seedlings, which will be planted during the winter 2012-2013 on 144 acres of Dixie Plantation. “We are grateful for ArborGen’s partnership,” said George P. Watt Jr., executive director of the Foundation. “This generous support will further enable our mission to protect and preserve this ‘living laboratory’ and vital Lowcountry habitat while providing educational benefits at Dixie Plantation for generations to come.” Dixie Plantation is a historic 881-acre property along the Stono River and the Intercoastal Waterway. The myriad ecosystems include Longleaf Pine forests, wetlands, savannahs, tidal marshes, as well as brackish, saltwater and freshwater ponds. The Foundation, in collaboration with the Lowcountry Open Land Trust, has a

comprehensive plan to restore Dixie to its original purpose as a “conservationist's classroom.” Native, diverse ecosystems will be restored and maintained to provide experiential learning and research opportunities for College of Charleston students and faculty. Dixie Plantation enables the College to educate its students in an unparalleled natural setting; inspire collaboration across campus, industry and governmental agencies; and prepare students and faculty to be leaders in today’s environmentally volatile, global society. “ArborGen is dedicated to advancements in forestry, and we are pleased to be a partner in the restoration efforts,” said Andrew Baum, president and CEO of ArborGen. “The range of the Longleaf Pine has greatly diminished from what is was 150 years ago when it stretched through nine states from Virginia to Texas. Planting the 75,000 seedlings will not only help restore our region’s Longleaf Pine trees, but also contribute to the region’s ecosystem.” dixieplantation.cofc.edu/

Fire-­‐damaged Bastrop  receives  first  shipment  of  newly  grown  Lost  Pine  seedlings.   A small group of smiling people in forest service green were waiting in the cold “I cannot say enough how wind at Bastrop State Park when the 18-wheeler arrived, loaded with 226,452 Pine seedlings – the first shipment of trees to replace what last year’s fires destroyed. It’s a welcome site for the 32,000-acre burn scar of blackened skeletons of Pines. The shipment represents about half of the 550,000 droughttolerant Pine seedlings arriving for the first year of a five-year effort to plant 4 Shane Harrington, CF million trees in the burned areas. Staff Forester/Farm Bill Jim Rooni Texas A&M Forest Service’s chief regional forester for Central Coordinator, Texas A&M FS and West Texas popped open a box as others gathered to snap photos with cellphones. “I’m like a nervous father,” said Rooni. ArborGen, who provided this shipment, as well as other public and private nurseries including the state-run Beauregard Nursery in Louisiana, all agreed to grow Pine for the project without any upfront money. Foundations later donated the money to pay the nurseries, and businesses and individuals helped cover some of the labor costs to plant the trees, including about $100,000 for planting in the state park this winter. Volunteers and Americorps workers will plant 220,000 seedlings on 400 acres this winter. The rest of this year’s seedlings – about 330,000 – will be planted at the Griffith League Scout Ranch and on private property. Now they’ll need winter and spring rains to help the new seedlings survive. “Mother Nature has to help us out from here on,” Rooni said. Volunteer or donate at www.arborday.org/takeaction/disasters/lost-pines.cfm much we appreciate ArborGen growing out and delivering these seedlings. They really look great and will look even better when we begin planting them.”

©  Copyright  ArborGen  Inc.  2013  

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The Elusive Tip Moth  It’s a tough economic decision, but if you

decide to treat, the greatest benefits come from getting it done in the first year. Dr. Don Grosman, coordinator of Forest Pest Management Cooperative of Texas A&M Forest Service says there’s a reason that the scientific name of the Nantucket tip moth is Rhyacionia frustrana – this insect’s habits, impact and management are quite frustrating to pin down. “The standard opinion in the 90’s and earlier was that tip moth wasn’t a problem, but these days it’s by far the most common insect pest in young plantations,” says Grosman. ‘The Forest Pest Management Coop was established in 1996 and has studied this insect extensively since then. The one thing we’ve determined is that nothing about this insect is easy to figure out.” The primary hosts of the Nantucket Pine tip moth in the South and Southeast are yellow Pines including Loblolly and Shortleaf Pines. Slash Pine is highly resistant and Longleaf Pine is virtually immune to attack. “We do know that tip moths seem to prefer trees that are spaced farther apart,” says Grosman. “When trees are closer together, there’s much less of problem. Of course that means that it poses an ever-increasing problem as forestry trends favor the establishment of large areas of Pine plantations.”

Predicting tip  moths  

Grosman says there are three main areas of Cooperative research: Prediction; Impact; and Control. As for predicting what trees will be hit, tip moth levels have been observed to be higher in plantations compared to natural stands and in plantations with the widest tree spacing. There is also a positive correlation with intensity of weed control and fertilization in site preparation. “It’s a Catch-22,” says Grosman. “The very practices that can increase tree growth, sometimes dramatically, can also exacerbate tip moth attacks and prevent realization of potential tree growth.” Predicting which sites will be hit by tip moths is also not an exact science. “Results on what puts a site at risk for invasion have been variable,” ©  Copyright  ArborGen  Inc.  2013  

Grosman says. “We’ve established numerous plots throughout the Western Gulf region trying to identify the factor(s) that influence tip moth occurrence and severity including weather, site characteristics, water availability, soil texture, drainage – all those things, but we’ve come to no firm conclusions. There was too much variability in data to allow prediction of tip moth damage across large areas However, when we focused evaluations to site in a small area, we found the soil texture and drainage class tended to influence tip moth damage levels.” Dr. R. Scott Cameron, retired entomologist and formerly with International Paper adds that some sites seem to be hit over and over. “If your site is on sandy soil, it has a higher probability of getting hit by tip moths. And site prep practices can make you more vulnerable. It’s a decision for each individual landowner to make, and not an easy one due to the expense involved. If I was planting high-value trees like Varietals, especially on a site with historical tip moth problems, I would consider some measure of control.”

Impact of  tip  moths In the case of impact Grosman says, “We know that early on in rotation, growth is readily affected and can be significant. What we haven’t been able to fully determine is if that loss will be long term. We know that once a tree is 5-6 years old, about 15 feet high, and the canopy starts to close up, the tip moth problem subsides.” He says that protected trees vs. unprotected trees at the 5-year mark have more volume and are taller. Sometimes it seems that gap seems to close and sometimes it doesn’t. “The main thing is to get the trees out of the susceptible stage as quickly as possible.” On long-term growth effects Cameron says that a 15-20 year study on tip moth impact scheduled to be published 1st quarter 2013 in the Journal of Entomological Science found that controlling tip moths for three years provided significant growth gains through 15-20 years. “When height and diameter are impacted, you can incur significant volume losses. There is also evidence that tip moths can cause additional forking through five years and impact wood quality by increasing knots in the lower part of the tree.” (Continued on Page 7.) 6  


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The Elusive Tip Moth: A tough economic decision (Continued from Page 6.)

Treating tip  moths  

Tip moth  risk  reduction  and  management  

On the third area of control, Grosman says their research has been more successful. “What we’ve found is that systemic products seem to be effective at reducing tip moth damage with up to 2-3 years of protection from a single treatment.” Two systemic insecticides (PTM™ and CoreTect™ tablets (formerly SilvaShield™ Forestry Tablet) have been registered recently and have been show to be effective. Unlike foliage sprays, which require perfect timing and often must be applied for each generation of tip moths, these systemics are applied once at the time of seedling planting and protect the trees for somewhere between 1-3 years. Grosman explains that PTM is a liquid formulation that is injected into the plant hole or into the soil next to the seedling, ideally right after planting. “One advantage of PTM is that you can evenly divide your chemical restrictions among your trees per acre. With the tablets, you’re limited to 450 per acre, so if you’ve got more than 450 trees, the extra cannot be treated with tablets.” Cameron adds that you get the greatest benefit from treatment in the first year. “It makes sense,” he says, “because in the first year the tree might have only a few buds, and if the tip moth takes those out it’s going to result in more loss of growth. When a tree has more buds and more leaf area, the damage is not as likely to translate to loss of growth.” Between 2-5 years, high-value trees and/or those in a known vulnerable area might still require spray treatments. If this is the case, it’s important to know which generation of tip moth has traditionally caused the most growth loss in your area. “Each generation of tip moth tends to coincide with new flushes of growth,” says Cameron. “Check with local forestry experts for appropriate spraying times in your area.” As far as any effects of a warming climate on the tip moth populations, Grosman says that the tip moth may start occurring farther north as winters warm up, and in the South, areas may start to see more generations than historically. “Trees that are stressed are also more susceptible,” says Grosman, “so drought or any other conditions that put trees under stress will make them more vulnerable.”

For the coming planting season Grosman recommends that landowners go through records where possible or talk to old-timers to determine if their site is historically prone to tip moth invasion. If not, maybe you can get by without control. “Manage your stands to maximize the health of the trees,” says Grosman, “but remember that certain silviculture practices such as intensive site prep and weed control may increase your chances of tip moth damage. If you have a really high production site, I would recommend planting containerized over bare root. The seedlings will get a faster jump to get out of the susceptible stage.” As always, follow best management practices for the care and planting of all seedlings. (See Page 8 for care and handling tips). For professional guidance on this or any issue, call your ArborGen representative. They have years of experience and can help you with seedling selection, site prep, and forest management to get the maximum return on your investment.

©  Copyright  ArborGen  Inc.  2013  

MCP® Seedlings  Still  Available          

CALL 1-­‐888-­‐888-­‐7158  

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SEEDLINGS ARE  FRAGILE and although seedlings from our nurseries are packaged and shipped for maximum survival, the way you care for and handle seedlings can greatly affect your survival outcomes. Use the following guidelines to protect your investment, increase survival rates and get maximum growth.  

The  results  of  harmful  events  are  cumulative. Short exposures

may seem unimportant, but several harmful events can add up to a significant loss in survival and growth. As harsher climates begin to prevail, the care and handling of your valuable seedlings becomes even more imperative. 1. When picking seedlings up from the nursery, provide cool, shaded conditions for transport and pick them up in late afternoon if possible. Long distance hauling is best done at night to prevent heat buildup from the sun. 2. Cover seedlings in an open truck or trailer with a tarp but be sure to allow about a foot between tarp and seedlings for ventilation. 3. Boxes should not be stacked to the point of crushing. Bags/bundles should not be stacked in layers more than two deep without spacers (heat builds up even at low temperatures when seedlings are stored in direct sunlight or without air circulation - especially in sealed bags). 4. Minimize seedling exposure to extreme temperatures, sunlight and dry air. 5. When cold storage facilities are not available at the planting site, take only as many seedlings to the field as can be planted in one day’s time. 6. Temperatures inside seedling packages can quickly exceed 50˚ on sunny days, even when air temperatures are moderate, which can quickly reduce seedling quality. Keep seedlings away from the sun. 7. Seedlings not planted in the day should be returned to cold storage if possible – if not, they should be covered with a tarp at sunset to protect against freezing. 8. Make sure roots are visibly moist at all times. However, remember that "sloppy wet" seedlings mold very quickly at warm temperatures. 9. Do not prune seedling roots.

Good supervision  the  key  to   protecting  your  investment.   If you’re not on site to supervise, here are a few of the things your seedlings might suffer at the hand of careless contractors: • Failure to cover seedlings with tarp while transporting • Stacked too high or too tightly • Left in sun, wind or dry air • Failure to keep roots moist or overwatering of roots • Parked in a shady spot in the morning but left in the sun when the shade moves as the day progresses Good on-site supervision is the best way to prevent mishandling. Be there and be aware!

 

©  Copyright  ArborGen  Inc.  2013  

SuperTree Nursery®  Locations   Selma,  AL   (800)  222-­‐1280  (334)  872-­‐2358  fax   Bellville,  GA   (877)  833-­‐4760  (912)  739-­‐9409  fax   Bluff  City,  AR   (800)  222-­‐1270  (870)  685-­‐2825  fax   Shellman,  GA   (800)  554-­‐6550  (229)  679-­‐5628  fax   Blenheim,  SC     (800)  222-­‐1290  (843)  528-­‐3943  fax   Bullard,  TX   (800)  642-­‐2264  (903)  825-­‐2876  fax     Sales  Office  Locations   Athens,  GA   912-­‐655-­‐1725  (m)  912-­‐850-­‐1764  (fax)   Tallahassee,  FL     (850)-­‐227-­‐8437   Livingston,  TX     (877)  600-­‐8015  (936)  563-­‐2027  fax   Seminary,  MS     (800)  452-­‐3164  (601)  722-­‐9152  fax   Columbia,  SC   (404)  840-­‐7489  

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