What are SuperTree Seedlings®?

SuperTree Seedlings are the products that we develop, grow and sell to more than 6,000 landowners worldwide for reforestation. Our operations include research laboratories, over 1,000 acres of proprietary seed orchards, 15 nurseries, 16 orchards and 32 distribution centers and 4.5 square miles of test plots where 1,006,800 trees are measured and analyzed every year.  SuperTree Seedlings have reforested over 20 million acres worldwide.

What is the difference among your SuperTree Seedling products and how do the higher genetics justify the added cost?

SuperTree Seedlings products include Loblolly, Slash and Longleaf Pine as well as more than 50 species of hardwood trees. As Loblolly Pine is the most important tree for commercial reforestation in the U.S. South, we offer the most options in Loblolly – from conventional Open-Pollinated (OP) to Mass Control Pollinated (MCP®) and Varietals. ALL of our Pine Seedlings are grown from exceptional genetic families and benefit from more than 60 years of tree-improvement breeding that enhances growth and quality traits. All seeds are grown in our own seed orchards so we can manage the genetic heritage of every seedling that we sell – even the OP varieties. The meticulous and complex process of mass controlled pollination gives our MCP seedlings even stronger and more predictable superior traits that ensure a higher quality of wood and more sawtimber trees per acre. And the very best trees from researching and testing over 6,000 Loblolly Pine families are replicated exactly in our Varietal SuperTree Seedlings, which offer the maximum return on investment for landowners in their commercial reforestation efforts. For a basic understanding of how advanced genetics affects outcomes consider the sawtimber potential (STP) per acre: OP STP 20-50%: MCP STP 50-80%: Varietals STP >80%.

Get more detailed information on increasing returns from higher genetics.

How do I know what to plant for my specific property?

Your Reforestation Advisor can make seedling and silvicultural recommendations based on your specific geographic location, planting site and long-term objectives. They have access to a comprehensive and sophisticated database with ratings and test data on all of our SuperTree Seedlings as well as extensive field knowledge of their specific regions. Our advisors are forestry-trained experts who work closely with you to help achieve maximum results on your forestlands, whether it’s for future timber harvests or simply for creating the most valuable legacy to leave for future generations. Call your regional Reforestation Advisor for assistance in seedling selection, silvicultural suggestions and possible site visits.

How do I know what seedlings I’m actually getting?

As a global reforestation company with state-of-the-art facilities in the United States, Brazil, Australia and New Zealand, we operate over 1,000 acres of seed orchards. These orchards are managed by trained forestry experts who collect more than 30,000 pounds of seeds from trees that are identified by genetic families. From the orchard trees to the shipping box, every seed and seedling is marked and mapped through the entire system. When you receive a shipment of seedlings, they will all be identified as a specific genetic family, and you can be assured that all seedlings have been carefully tracked from their parents to your planting site. 

Is there anyone in my area who has planted SuperTree Seedlings MCP and/or Varietal seedlings where I can go see them or talk to someone?

We have customers all over the southeast who have planted our MCP and Varietal seedlings over varying degrees of acreage and planting seasons. If you contact your regional Reforestation Advisor, they will be able to identify the nearest location where you’ll be able to see these higher genetics SuperTree Seedlings in the field and possibly speak with a landowner or consulting forester who can give you first-hand information on their personal experiences.

View a video of a satisfied SuperTree Seedlings® customer.

Can you deliver seedlings to my location or can I pick them up at the nursery?

We offer several options for getting your seedling order delivered fresh, on-time and conveniently. If you prefer to pick the seedlings up yourself, you can coordinate that pickup with the nursery. We also offer customized and turn-key refrigerated delivery directly to your planting site. In addition, we have satellite cooler locations throughout the southeast where your order can be delivered and stored safely for easy access throughout the course of your planting cycle. Speak with your nursery representative or your Reforestation Advisor to choose the best options for your seedling order delivery. And get the best out of your seedlings by caring for them properly between the nursery and getting them in the ground. Read our Guide to Best Practices: Caring for Seedlings from Nursery to Planting.

Are your nurseries growing seedlings for your own lands?

We do not own forestland assets. All of our seedlings are grown for sale to the commercial market so customers are getting the best of our best every season. Although our nurseries were originally created to develop and grow the best possible seedlings for reforestation on corporately-owned lands, that practice ended in 2006 when we acquired the nurseries as well as all of the valuable research knowledge and the world’s leading germplasm stock from Union Camp, Champion, International Paper, MeadWestvaco, Federal and Hammermill. Not only are customers getting every SuperTree Seedling we grow, but you are also getting the benefit of 60 years of tree improvement research and genetic families from the most prestigious germplasm stock in the world.

Learn more about the genetics at ArborGen and how we continue to enhance the most desirable traits needed for healthy and profitable reforestation.

How much more productive are MCPs / Varietals?

We continuously test and monitor performance of all of our SuperTree Seedlings in our 4.5 square miles of test plots where 1,006,800 trees are measured and analyzed every year. We have 20 years of data on our MCP products and 15 years of data on Varietals. As far as performance goes, we have measured volume gains from our OP Advanced products up to our best genetics, which are the Varietals. Stated in sawtimber potential (STP) we know that OP seedlings have a STP of 20% -50%. MCP seedlings have a STP of 50% – 80%. Varietal seedlings have a STP of >80%.  In economic terms, MCP seedlings have been seen to give a 60% – 100% gain in NPV and a gain in revenue of more than 40%, and Varietals give a 90% – 150% gain in NPV and a gain in revenue of more than 50%.  In addition, there are the economic benefits of being able to plant fewer trees per acre (average of 745 for OP seedlings and 525 for Varietals), more efficiently target weed control and the ability to achieve earlier thinning and harvest with more volume of higher-value wood products in both cases. We recommend that you plant higher genetics on your best sites and then manage and maintain those stands with proper silvicultural methods in order to achieve the maximum performance and profitability potential from these exceptional seedlings. Learn why one of our consulting forester customers chooses to plant MCP and Varietal SuperTree Seedlings.

Why should I spend more on the front end for higher genetics?

The short answer to that question is “you reap what you sow.” Consider that if you’re planting conventional Open Pollinated (OP) seedlings, you’ll plant about 600 trees per acre (TPA) and you’ll have a sawtimber potential of around 20-50% of those trees at harvest. At first thinning, which will be around 13-15 years, you are going to be getting approximately 40-50 tons per acre. By contrast, if you’re planting the higher genetics you could plant as few as 500 trees per acre and have a sawtimber potential of between 50% and >80% depending on whether you plant MCPs or Varietals. First thinning is going to come a few years earlier with these higher genetics and yield somewhere between 30%-60% more wood volume with as much as 30%-50% solid wood potential. One of our customers, consulting forester John Sisson, has run the numbers, and according to his calculations he has determined the following. “Even if I add in the cost to jump from OP Elite to MCP Select of about $55 per acre, the higher genetics are giving me an increase in value of around $130 per acre, per year, over a rotation. So I more than double my money spent on the seedlings.”

Read more from consulting forester John Sisson on why he plants MCP and Varietal SuperTree Seedlings.

What data do you have to support the extra expense for the higher genetic seedlings?

We continuously test and monitor performance of all of our SuperTree Seedlings in our 4.5 square miles of test plots where 1,006,800 trees are measured and analyzed every year. We have 20 years of data on our MCP products and 15 years of data on Varietals that supports and validates our performance claims. Our Reforestation Advisors have access to a comprehensive database of all of the ratings and test data for all of our SuperTree Seedlings. They can assist you with numbers for any specific product that they recommend for your property or that you are considering for purchase. If you would like to read a detailed paper on 16-year data for our MCP seedlings, we have published a white paper that includes growth information as well as financial analysis that shows that MCP gives a 119% increase in BLV, a 61% higher revenue, and IRR of 13.9% and an additional 173 basis points to total forest investment IRR. Please contact your Reforestation Advisor for data on specific products.