Wednesday, October 7, 2015
1012 C Street  •  Floresville, TX 78114  •  Phone: 830-216-4519  •  Fax: 830-393-3219  • 

WCN Site Search

Lost & Found

Lost: Men's wallet, Sept. 21 at Wal-Mart fuel center in Floresville, left on side of truck, medical IDs needed. If found call 210-827-9753, no questions asked.
*Includes FREE photo online!
Lost: Border Collie, black and light brown, 9 months old, wearing a green collar, last seen Sept. 22 near CR 427 in Poth. If found call 210-324-1208.
More Lost & Found ads ›

Help Wanted

Be skeptical of ads that say you can make lots of money working from the comfort of your home. If this were true, wouldn’t we all be working at home?
Hair Stylist/Massage Therapist/Esthetician/Nail Tech, minimum 3 years experience, located in Nixon. The Cutting Edge Salon and Spa, call 830-582-2233.
More Help Wanted ads ›

Featured Videos

Video Vault ›
You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.

Agriculture Today

Years after collection, seeds to finally become trees in Bastrop

E-Mail this Story to a Friend
Print this Story
December 19, 2012 | 2,552 views | Post a comment

COLLEGE STATION -- For five years, the seeds sat -- all 1,100 pounds of them -- on the top shelf in the very back of a refrigerated Brookshire Bros. warehouse in Lufkin.

The drought-hardy loblolly pine seeds had been a focus of the Texas A&M Forest Service Western Gulf Forest Tree Improvement Program since its inception in 1951. But demand for the seeds declined over the decades, prompting geneticists to shelve the surplus indefinitely.

The seeds -- 1,100 pounds of drought-hardy loblolly pine and 6,000 more of assorted varieties of the same species -- had been stored so long, in fact, that in August 2011 geneticists began making plans to toss them into the landfill.

“This was supposed to be a temporary arrangement. We told them, ‘This won’t be forever,’ but it was beginning to look like it might be,” said Tom Byram, a geneticist with the agency’s tree improvement program. “What’s the use of having them if you’re not going to use them?”

That plan changed the following month when the most destructive wildfire in Texas history ravaged Bastrop County and its renowned Lost Pines ecosystem. The 32,400-acre inferno laid waste to the community, destroying 1,660 homes and killing 1.5 million trees.

“After the fire, it was immediately obvious we were going to be doing a restoration project of one kind or another -- and we had the seed,” Byram said.

Tree experts in Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma spent the next year nurturing the seeds, growing them into seedlings that could be used to reforest Bastrop State Park and surrounding private lands.

The first shipment -- 200,000 loblolly pine seedlings grown by ArborGen, a commercial nursery based in East Texas -- arrived Nov. 27 at Bastrop State Park. Another 200,000 seedlings grown by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry were delivered Nov. 30.

Texas A&M Forest Service’s West Texas Nursery and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center also grew seedlings -- 25,000 and 30,000 respectively -- that will be delivered as needed to support various reforestation projects throughout the planting season.

The first volunteer planting workday at Bastrop State Park was scheduled for Dec. 1. Planting on private land began Dec. 3.

A total of 550,000 seedlings will be planted in Bastrop over the next few months. Meanwhile, tree experts are continuing to grow seedlings, with plans to plant 1.5 million next year and another million the year after that.

Costs will be covered by the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization that joined earlier this year with Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to launch the Lost Pines Forest Recovery Campaign, a reforestation fund-raising effort.

Byram said there still was enough seed to produce about 14 million more loblolly pine seedlings, which will be more than enough to finish the project. But he warned that it could be 25 years before the 10-inch seedlings grow into the mighty pine trees that people associate with Bastrop’s Lost Pines.

“The function we have in restoration is to put the right genes back out there and then let Mother Nature sift through it. That’s the most anybody can do,” Byram said. “That’s our contribution. Mother Nature has to take the next step.”

For more information on the Lost Pines Forest Recovery Campaign or to donate or volunteer, visit

Your Opinions and Comments

Be the first to comment on this story!

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Not a subscriber?
Subscriber, but no password?
Forgot password?

Agriculture Today Archives

Coupons ag-right
Triple R DC ExpertsDrama KidsVoncille Bielefeld homeauto chooserHeavenly Touch homeAllstate & McBride Realty

  Copyright © 2007-2015 Wilson County News. All rights reserved. Web development by Drewa Designs.