Austin Heine

Reforestation Advisor

North Carolina and Virginia

Austin Heine Arborgen Tree Seedlings Austin Heine


BS degree in Forest Management, North Carolina State University
MS degree in Forestry, North Carolina State University
Ph.D. candidate in Forestry with an interest in Improving Seed Yields for Mass Control Pollinated Loblolly Pine, North Carolina State University

Professional Background

Undergraduate Research Assistant in the Tree Improvement Program at North Carolina State University Cooperative

Operations Manager, Research Associate in the Tree Improvement Program at North Carolina State University Cooperative

Co-instructed FOR 727 (Tree Improvement Research Techniques) and FOR 204 (Silviculture)

ArborGen Reforestation Advisor, January 2023 – present

Professional Affiliations

Registered Forester in North Carolina

Active Member of Society of American Foresters

Before becoming the Reforestation Advisor for North Carolina and Virginia, I worked with the NC State tree improvement cooperative for eight years. In the world of tree improvement and genetics research, most people go into this field, having grown up spending much of their time. I love my career and wanted to pick a job where I could be outdoors. And now, I get to work with Landowners, help them with their properties, and guide them to their goals.

What I find most rewarding about this position is getting to help clients. For example, last week, I met with a client on his property who was having a problem. I was able to get out there and help them diagnose what was going on with his trees, and just knowing that I could help him with his issue and solve that problem was satisfying.

So the top needs that clients have when they contact me center around several questions about what they need to buy to reforest their property, what stock type to purchase, and what genetics are appropriate for their land.

I help clients along the journey of reforestation by being there through the whole process. Once I know the client’s goals and background, I can help make decisions about what genetics to choose and what families might be best for their site. Understanding where the site location and soil type dictates the most appropriate site prep methods, thus helping the client get set for success.

Once the land is replanted with seedlings, we regularly check in with our clients to see how their trees perform. Even if they’re happy with them, we want to know more about what we can do to improve. For me, it’s rewarding to combine my background in forestry, genetics, and tree improvement, to work with landowners and help them meet their goals.