Genetic improvement of interior Douglas-fir in the B.C. Interior: Progeny tests for East Kootenay seed planning zone

Project number: EP 976.02.08

Districts: Rocky Mountain and Selkirk Forest Districts


  • To evaluate the growth and adaptability of local and non-local Douglas-fir families in the East 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 (256 in total)
Zone Number of wind-pollinated families
East Kootenay 198
West Kootenay High (>1000 m) 10
West Kootenay Low (<1000 m) 10
Mt. Robson 12
Shuswap Adams 11
Mica 10
Controls 5 local operational EK seedlots


  • Randomized complete-block design with eight replicate blocks
  • The 256 genetic entries were randomly subdivided into 8 sets of 32 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


  • 1992 plantations established
  • 1994 manual brushing, third-year tree height and condition recorded
  • 1997 manual brushing, sixth-year tree height and condition recorded, data analysis in progress
  • 2001 tenth year height assessments


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.


The Colepitts Creek installation also includes a research planting of coastal x interior Douglas-fir hybrids, and a demonstration planting of ponderosa pine, yellow cypress from coastal BC and genetically improved European birch from Finland. All of these exotics were performing extremely well after three growing seasons.