Phenological variation in height and diameter growth in provenances and families of loblolly pine
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The phenology of 5- and 6-year old loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) trees was studied over two different growing seasons (1993 and 94) in southwest Georgia. These trees were from 7–9 open-pollinated families from each of four different provenances planted at two locations. The provenances were: Atlantic Coastal Plain (eastern SC), Gulf Hammock (north FL), Lower Gulf (south AL, MS) and Upper Gulf (north AL, MS). Provenances did not vary as to when height growth started in spring, but showed very significant differences for the date of growth cessation in fall. The Gulf Hammock source grew the most and also had the longest height growth period, while the Upper Gulf source was first to stop height growth and had the least annual height increment. Provenances were also significantly different for the date of cessation of diameter growth (a difference of 22 days between Gulf Hammock and Upper Gulf), and the order of cessation was the same as for height. Families within provenances were significantly different for date of cessation of height growth and diameter growth. When family means were considered across provenances, there was a correlation of 0.69 (p-value = 0.0001) between annual height increment and date of height growth cessation. There was a weaker association between faster growth and a longer growing season within provenances.
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