Improving forest genetics

In my earlier post, I was talking about some of the things l learned about forestry genetics. There is a consortium dedicated to aggregating the information, linked below.
Each year, we plant 820 million loblolly pine in the South. When you add in other southern pine species such as longleaf, slash etc, we are planting more than 1.2 billion trees every year.

Ironically, we are planting fewer trees per acre because the trees are so much better. In the recent past, landowners might plant 700-1000 trees per acre. This was necessary because of the high mortality rate. Better trees & better silvaculture mean that we can now plant 400-500 and expect better results.

(I read about forestry in China, where they paid peasants to plant trees. They planted thousands of trees every year and every year they needed to plant them again because they died. It was just a business. Nobody cared if the trees were property suited to local conditions. The peasants got paid to plant, the officials filled the quotas, everyone seemed green and they could do it over and over again. Better to have incentives in the future, not the past.)

I signed the contract a few day ago to replant on the land we clear cut last June. We will plant 15 acres of longleaf, 30 acres of loblolly and an acre of cypress. We will have just over 400 per acre. We were going to space them 10×10, but I learned that it might be better to space 5×20. Same number of trees per acre, but it will be easier to take care of the trees, since equipment can pass easily. I hope that I can get some biosolids, for example.