Genetic improvement of interior Douglas-fir in the B.C. Interior: Progeny tests for West Kootenay (high elevation) seed planning zone

Project number: EP 976.02.05

District: Selkirk Forest District


  • To evaluate the growth and adaptability of local and non-local Douglas-fir families on high elevation sites in the West Kootenay seed planning zone
  • To identify genetically superior parents for first-phase seed orchards
  • To estimate components of genetic variance/covariance, heritabilities and genetic gain for traits relating to tree growth, form, adaptability and wood properties

Experimental design

Genetic entries included in test (240 in total)
Zone Number of wind-pollinated families
West Kootenay High (>1000 m) 190
West Kootenay Low (<1000 m) 13
Shuswap Adams 12
Mica 13
Cariboo Transition 5
Controls 12 operational seedlots
(6 WKH, 1 Idaho and 5 Coast Interior transition)


  • Randomized complete-block design with eight replicate blocks
  • The 240 genetic entries were randomly subdivided into 8 sets of 30 entries
  • Sets were randomly assigned to positions in blocks
  • Genetic entries were randomly assigned to four-tree row plots within sets
  • Sampling units are individual trees spaced at 2 x 2 m. White stakes identify set corners


  • 1988 plantations established
  • 1990 manual brushing, three-year tree height and condition recorded
  • 1993 manual brushing, six-year tree height and condition recorded
  • 1997 manual brushing, ten-year tree height and condition recorded, data analysis in progress
  • 1999 thinned Ranch Ridge location and collected disks for wood density determination


Jaquish, B. C. and V.J. Ashley. 1996. Interior Douglas-fir progeny test results and recommendations for first-phase 1.5 generation seed orchards. Progress Report EP 976. B.C. Min. For., Research Branch, Victoria, B.C. 75pp.


Six-year data analyses have been completed and parental breeding values have been estimated by Best Linear Prediction techniques. Grafting for orchard will begin in spring, 1996.