• Urban Tree Improvement Program 

    Texas tested snip 3


    The value of plant hardiness – the measure of a tree’s ability to survive harsh and arid conditions – has never been higher.  
    That’s why Texas A&M Forest Service began an Urban Tree Improvement Program over 40 years ago: to create a supply of trees for future urban landscapes. Across the state of Texas, from small towns to urban neighborhoods, trees play a vital role in our communities.They help give a community its sense of place and provide environmental, economic, social and health benefits.  
    Texas Tested, Texas Tough trees are the best choice for urban needs.  

    Tree improvement is a continuous process of selection, breeding and testing. Traits are identified; selections are made and tested individually or bred together. The process has two basic components – breeding and testing and seed production. Selections of high genetic values are grafted into seed orchards where seed is collected and produced into seedlings in forest nurseries. 


    Texas Tested, Texas Tough fact sheet

     + What Does the Tree Improvement Process Look Like?
    Each repetition of selection, breeding and testing carried out in this process is termed a ‘generation’ or ‘cycle’ and the resulting seed or seedlings produced from that repetition are also designated as a generation or cycle. 
    TI Cycle
     + Why Do Tree Improvement?

    The primary reason for tree improvement is to produce genetically superior seed or seedlings for reforestation. The second reason is to support the regional tree improvement effort through participation in breeding and testing programs.

     + Tree Improvement in Texas
    Texas A&M Forest Service holds the distinction of forming the first tree improvement program in the U.S. This program served as a model for many other collaborative silvicultural programs in the nation, including the Western Gulf Forest Tree Improvement Program, for which it serves as host agency.
     + Western Gulf Forest Tree Improvement Program (WGFTIP)

    The Western Gulf Forest Tree Improvement Program (WGFTIP) is a cooperative tree breeding project founded in 1969 with the objective of providing the best genetic quality seed for use in forest regeneration programs in the Western Gulf Region of the United States. Current members include five states and 8 industrial members collectively responsible for planting 300,000,000 seedlings per year. The cooperative is preserving and improving populations of five southern pine species and several hardwood species.

    Brochure (PDF, 282KB)


     + Annual Reports

    Western Gulf Forest Tree Improvement Program Annual Reports: