Christmas Tree Area at NWREC
To the north of the red barn and road is a small patch of around 45 Douglas-fir trees. These are all grafted on compatible "universal rootstock". The scion wood for all of these was collected in British Columbia around 1997. Each collected tree had characteristics we liked for Christmas tree traits. Notice the color, upright branching habits and needle forms. One of these years we hope to get seed from these and evaluate the progeny for Christmas tree production in the PNW. In the middle portion of the planting the scion wood was collected from various locations on Texada Island. The largest of the Gulf Islands,Texada Island is located in the Malaspina Strait between Powell River and Vancouver Island. Other scion wood selections come from both the Powell River area and Vancouver Island.
Noble fir trees are planted parallel with the power lines inside the circle road. Most of these will be used for rootstock for grafting a future noble fir seed orchard. A few trees (E. side) are now grafted from scion wood collected in the mountains of Coastal Oregon above Tillamook. You can tell the grafted trees by the dark gray-blue color of the parent trees, which were around 100 years old.
There are 2 rows of Nordmann fir planted in 2011. These were trees used in a greenhouse experiment on nutrition. You likely will notice some are shorter and many are yellowish color. These were planted to observe how (or if) field planting would affect their future growth. Will the yellow stunted trees recover? Will the dark green trees continue to grow well? In a few years they will be removed to make room for the noble fir seed orchard.
Chal Landgren, OSU Christmas Tree Extension Specialist