"Genetically improved conifers developed to grow high quality timber, fast"
'Elite' and 'Super-Elite' Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis) have been specifically developed at Christie-Elite to grow high quality timber, fast.
Selective breeding, over multiple generations, has enhanced particular genetic traits (growth rate, stem straightness and form) to grow faster, straighter with fewer knots. A genetically improved crop will result in a significantly higher volume of sawlogs at harvesting, dramatically increasing return on investment.
Elite sitka (also known as seed‐orchard sitka) is a seedling grown directly from specially selected seed. The seed is produced in a seed-orchard composed of parent plants chosen for their genetic superiority. Due to the fact that each seed is produced by different parents some genetic variation exists in finished stock however Elite Sitka will consistently outperform standard material without the high cost of vegetative production.
Super-Elite sitka (also known as veg-prop) is produced from tip cuttings taken from mother-plants grown at Christie-Elite. Because Super-Elite is vegetativer produced (grown from a cutting), each plant is an exact genetic copy of the parent plant. Although more expensive, this production system ensures that the required traits are passed on consistently. Finished Super-Elite stock will grow 20% faster, 20% straighter with 20% lighter branching than unimproved Sitka with no loss in timber density.