Development of improved Sitka spruce for Ireland.

  • David Thompson Coillte Teoranta, Tree Improvement Programme, Technical Services, Kilmacurra Park, Kilbride, Co. Wicklow.
Keywords: Plus tree selection, progeny testing, breeding, sexual propagation, vegetative propagation.


Over the past 40 years a significant effort has been made to develop a variety of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis (Bong.) Carr.) which is specifically adapted to Irish climatic conditions. This has involved selection of the best seed source or provenance, selection of plus-trees, comparative field testing and breeding. The result is an improved variety of Sitka spruce that will provide increased height growth and improved stem form (straightness), but with no loss in wood density (related to timber strength properties). This paper will summarise the work to date in Ireland, how it was carried out, document the benefits of using improved planting stock, and outline what remains to be done.
How to Cite
Thompson, D. (2013). Development of improved Sitka spruce for Ireland. Irish Forestry, 104-118. Retrieved from

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