n Southern African Forestry Journal - A breeding strategy for (black wattle) in South Africa : management paper

Volume 2003, Issue 199
  • ISSN : 0038-2167



The black wattle breeding programme that has served the wattle bark industry of South Africa for the past five decades put little emphasis on improving the yield and quality of the timber, as timber was not the product of importance. Today the timber is as important, if not more so, than the bark. A decision was taken, by the industry to re-design the breeding and production strategy for the species in South Africa, to improve timber yield and quality while maintaining an acceptable bark quality. Using the available seed at the ICFR at present, a Multiple Population Breeding Strategy has been chosen. The sub-populations have been established using the origin of the seed as the determining factor. Five sub-populations were established in KwaZulu-Natal during November 2002. The sub-populations were designed as progeny tests and as seedling seed orchards planted adjacent to one another. The performance of the families in the progeny tests will determine the management of the seed orchards. Generation turnover will be via open pollination in the initial years. Once a nucleus population is established, controlled pollinations may be used. The benefits from this strategy will be passed on to the industry in the form of improved seed.

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