Front Porch Blog

Native longleaf down to last stand

State trying to restore pine forests that once blanketed the southern U.S.
[ Virginia ] longleaf pines …once covered more than a million acres in southeastern Virginia and for years were pillars of the region’s economy. Virginia now has only about 200 individual pines with the genetic makeup of the native trees designed by nature to grow here. Apperson, a forester with the Virginia Department of Forestry, is racing against time along with state colleagues and scientists to preserve the native longleaf pines that remain and use them to breed new trees with the same heredity. It’s all part of a state effort to re-create at least a portion of the vanished forests. “This is a last chance for science to preserve what’s left of the native gene pool,” Apperson said. “Gosh, they’re beautiful plants. You just can’t beat what nature decides to plant in the first place.”

News notes are courtesy of Southern Forests Network News Notes





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