Maximize Your Results with Your Seedling Genetics Choice.


Harvest sooner. Earn more.

As a knowledgeable forest landowner, you know there are numerous critical factors that determine the success of your reforestation projects.

We have seen landowners make the wrong seedling choice and not realize the greatest possible return from their reforestation investment. As the timber market fluctuates, they are not prepared to take advantage of the most profitable options at harvest. Our more than 60 years of seedling genetic research offer you the most choices for your land.

To help you focus your efforts so you can optimize your results based on your unique goals, we have some essential resources to guide you.

From site-prep to harvest – and beyond – data and tools are available to help you reap the highest rewards possible from your land.

Talk with Your Reforestation Advisor!

Complete this form and your Reforestation Advisor will reach out to help you.

Key Resources to Guide Your Decisions

Select a section below to learn more.

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Good Site Prep is Vital

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Know Your Seedling Options

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5 Questions to Ask Yourself

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Estimating Your ROI

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Get What You Paid For

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Good Site Prep Unlocks Seedling Potential

To ensure you get the most value from your seedling investment, proper site preparation is critical.

The first question a Reforestation Advisor will ask is “What outcome do you want when you harvest your trees?” Based on the characteristics of the site to be planted, some basic questions to answer immediately are:

  • Does my site have adequate drainage?
  • Does site require bedding?
  • What can be done to control competing vegetation?
  • What are my soil characteristics and what considerations should I make?

Know Your Seedling Options

You determine what will get planted on your land, so it behooves you to understand your choices. You only have one chance to get it right because that decision has consequences for 25 – 30 years.

With pine seedlings, new options are coming available as breeding and technology advances. For example, you can now choose from Open Pollinated and Mass Control Pollinated (MCP®) seedlings that were formerly only available to large corporations. Each of these types of pine seedlings are classified and ranked based on:


  • Height
  • Volume
  • Straightness
  • Disease resistance
  • Forking probability
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Advanced genetics offer you an opportunity to increase the revenue from your land by 50%.

ArborGen is the only seedling provider that can provide you with clear performance data of all seedling traits. Our data is supported by independent university co-ops in addition to our own field trials. By asking the right questions, our Reforestation Advisors use our knowledge of forestry and genetics to partner with you to help you grow trees with the highest probability of helping you meet your desired outcome at harvest.

Find out how you can get a revenue gain of 40% or more with MCP®.

To learn more about what makes a quality seedling, check out this detailed article.


1) What are my genetic seedling choices and what are the differences among them?

No longer are seedlings a commodity purchase so it’s essential to know your options. Research and development have brought many choices for every landowner and the ability to improve the return on investment on their pine forest.

As loblolly pine is the most important tree for commercial reforestation in the U.S. south, there are three options for this important species: conventional Open-Pollinated (OP) to Mass Control Pollinated (MCP®). Mass-controlled pollination’s meticulous and complex process gives MCP seedlings even stronger and more predictable superior traits that ensure higher growth rates and better log quality, thereby yielding more sawtimber trees-per-acre.

2) What is the experience and background of the person giving you information and advice on your forest investment for your land?

You only have one chance to get it right when it comes to your tree seedling investment. The wrong choice can be a 25-year mistake. The person you work with must have the experience and education in forestry to really understand all of the factors you need to consider when planting. With that comes the need and the ability to provide the hard, clear data necessary to prove that what they are saying is true. Ask your reforestation advisor about their background and what other landowners have accomplished with their advice. Ask for references from other landowners.

3) Should I plant bareroot or containerized seedlings?

The answer is Yes, and it depends.

Bareroot refers to a tree available for sale with its roots exposed. For most reforestation situations, bareroot seedlings will provide survival rates of around 88%-90%. Planting with container seedlings can improve survival on droughty sites and may be planted early in the planting season (October/November) or late season planting (April/May) thus extending the planting season. However, under typical conditions during the normal planting window (December to March) bareroot seedlings will survive and grow equally well versus container seedlings.

Planting containerized seedlings is not a substitute for good quality site preparation or genetic improvement. Landowners should not use containerized seedlings to skimp on site preparation thinking that containerized seedlings will compensate for poor or no site prep. For example, failing to bed on a wet site and planting containerized seedlings will likely not give as good a result as bedding and planting bareroot seedlings in terms of growth and survival because the limiting factor (excessive soil moisture and poor aeration of the roots) has not been addressed. Similarly, whether choosing bare root or container seedlings, the type of genetic improvement in the seed is more important in the long run.

4) What is the appropriately adapted seed source for my planting location?

Not knowing the seed source of your seedlings can be devastating. Seedlings produced from seed with Florida parentage won’t survive or reach their full potential on a site in Virginia. Experienced seedling providers such as ArborGen can provide the correct geographic seed source and genetic performance data to landowners.

Loblolly Pine: Coastal, Piedmont, Northern, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma
Additionally, Performance Rating System scores (PRS) from the North Carolina State University Tree Improvement Cooperative are available for trees that have been tested in its field trials. It is critical when deciding between different genetic choices that the checklots in NCSU PRS data are from the same geographic location or provenance. Learn about pine seedling success and suggested seedling types and genetic makeup for planting in Georgia, South Carolina, and other states. For example, if you want to compare two families for use in South Carolina, the appropriate checklot in the PRS scoring will be the South Carolina checklot.

ArborGen now has Western Gulf Performance Scores for families to be planted in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma. Your forestry seedling vendor or consultant should be able to readily provide you with the information to provide the correct comparisons. Demand data transparency in making your seedling selection.

5) What kind of customer support should I expect regarding my seedlings, before, during and after the sale?

Make sure the reforestation company you work with asks you about your goals for you and your family and helps you develop a plan to achieve those. They should communicate with you in a clear, transparent way the facts and data that support their claims.

Ask about their quality control and tracking systems to make sure they are delivering you the high quality seedlings you expect.

They should deliver what you want, where you want it, when you want it. And your reforestation company should commit to being there for advice and support after planting until the first thinning. You are in this for the long haul – they should be too.

Estimating ROI

Based on years of extensive research and data collection, we’ve created the industry’s only tool for calculating estimated ROI based on a variety of parameters. With this tool, you can easily explore different planting options for your land and shows how you can invest an additional $1 and return $15.

The video below gives a demonstration of the Revenue Calculator so you can see the power of being able to compare different scenarios for your specific land and location:

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To schedule a one-on-one demo of this calculator to use for your own scenarios, click the button below.

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Get What You Paid For

Have you ever bought a ‘bundle’ to save money? Maybe you signed up for your cable company’s ‘silver’ package only to find that the 125 channels does NOT include the ONE sports channel you really wanted!

The same can happen for services and products in forestry. Historically, the seedling choice has been part of a “bundle” of products and services (site preparation, seedlings, and/or seedling planting) from a contractor. When there was little or no difference between seedlings that was fine. But as discussed above in Know Your Seedling Options, this is no longer the case.

Today seedling selection is a critical decision with long-term consequences. Making a wrong choice now can mean your clients earn less than half of the revenue their land could have generated with the right seedlings.

As a landowner it’s critical for you to understand precisely the seedling genetics you are getting. And how that seedling choice will help you attain your long-term goals. But how do you know if you are getting them the right genetics for your financial goals?

You need to ask lots questions! For example, what volume and log quality performance gains are offered in the bundle? Simple 2nd Gen or 3rd Gen labeling is not adequate information to tell you how good the seedlings are and what your client can expect down the road. You need to look for specific family info and the level of genetic improvement. And you should also ask for real performance data to back it up.

Your Reforestation Advisor is here to help you if you need it. You don’t do this everyday, but they do. So they can help you better understand the options and decisions to ensure you will be thrilled because you chose the right seedlings for your long-term goals.

Knowledgeable Landowners Trust ArborGen

J.D. Neeley,
Neeley Forestry Service

Scott Rowland,
Neill Forestry Consultants

David Hogan,
Hogan Forest Services

Need an Expert to Fill in the Gaps?

Feel free to reach out to the Reforestation Advisor in your area!

Austin Heine

Austin Heine

North Carolina and Virginia


Jason Cromer

Jason Cromer

Florida, Georgia


Greg Hay

Greg Hay

Arkansas, Northern Louisiana, and Oklahoma


Shannon Stewart

Shannon Stewart

Eastern Texas, Southern Louisiana


Paul Jeffreys, Ph.d.

Paul Jeffreys, Ph.D.

Alabama & Mississippi

Manager Special Projects & Sustainability

Kylie Burdette

Kylie Burdette

U.S. Sales Manager

Reforestation Advisor
South Carolina

Jason Watson

Jason Watson

Director, U.S. Sales