The mission of the Reforestation Department is to provide quality, forest tree planting stock to Georgia landowners at reasonable prices. This is accomplished by developing genetically improved varieties of slash and loblolly pines; producing vigorous, high-quality nursery stock from superior selections and locally adapted seed sources; and using an efficient statewide delivery network. Departmental expenses, including salaries and benefits, are funded through the sale of tree seedlings.
The Georgia Forestry Commission's (GFC) Flint River Nursery is located in Byromville, Georgia. The nursery grows approximately 15-20 million seedlings each year capable of reforesting over 30,000 acres. Though the seedling crop is predominantly slash and loblolly pines, a variety of hardwoods and other conifers are also grown.
Seed Orchards and Production
All seedlings sold through the GFC nurseries are grown from seed adapted to Georgia's unique climate and soils. Seed production orchards have been established at two locations -- at the Flint River complex in Byromville, Georgia, and the Arrowhead Seed Orchard near Cochran, Georgia. Loblolly and slash pine seed production comes entirely from genetically superior sources developed through a rigorous breeding and testing program. Through participation in two university/industry tree improvement cooperatives, the GFC makes use of the finest genetic resources of loblolly and slash pine available in the Southeast. Seed collection areas have been established for over thirty other species at these facilities providing a source for high quality, locally adapted superior seeds.
Seeds for the other non-pine species come from a variety of locations - orchards, seed production areas, and wild collections. These sources produce locally adapted seedlings that can withstand the various site and weather conditions across Georgia.
All seeds are sent to the seed conditioning plant in Macon for cleaning. Husks, wings and debris must be removed from each seedlot; damaged or unhealthy seeds are discarded; and, seeds are dried for storage or prepared for immediate planting.
Each year the Georgia Forestry Commission supplies seedlings to Georgia landowners for reforestation, beautification, and wildlife habitat. Seedlings can be ordered in quantities ranging from ten to hundreds of thousands. The GFC begins processing orders on July 1 for the following planting season. The planting season in Georgia is from December through February. Orders can be delivered to and picked up at any GFC office across the state without additional charge.
All seedling stock is one year from seed and sold bareroot.