Washington, Oregon or Queen Charlotte Islands? Which is the best provenance of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) for Ireland?

  • David Thompson Coillte Research and Environment, Kilmacurra Park, Kilbride, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
  • Michael Lally Coillte Forest, Newtownmountkennedy. Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
  • Alistair Pfeifer Coillte Research and Environment. Newtownmountkennedy, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Keywords: Sitka spruce, Picea sitchensis, provenance, origin, seed sources, frost damage, wood quality.

Abstract

Perceived reductions in both productivity and timber quality in faster growing Washington and Oregon Sitka spruce seed sources have led to the widespread use of Queen Charlotte Islands (QCI) sources in Irish forestry. The belief is that the more northerly sources provide slower and more consistent growth, superior wood qualities, increased stability and protection against frost damage. However, none of these assertions is supported by results from over 40 years of provenance testing in Sitka spruce in Ireland. The widely held belief that QCI origins are less prone to late spring frost damage is not supported by field trial results. The use of Washington origins will result in at least a one Yield Class (2 m-3 ha-l year-l ) increase in wood production over QCI origins without any significant increase in frost risk. Therefore, the continued planting of large amounts of QCI origins in Ireland is not justified. For commercial plantations of Sitka spruce in Ireland, Washington and Oregon sources are the recommended sources.
Published
2005-11-01
How to Cite
Thompson, D., Lally, M., & Pfeifer, A. (2005). Washington, Oregon or Queen Charlotte Islands? Which is the best provenance of Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) for Ireland? . Irish Forestry. Retrieved from https://journal.societyofirishforesters.ie/index.php/forestry/article/view/9966
Section
Articles