Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.35
Liaison Jessica Bast
Submission Date Aug. 9, 2022

STARS v2.2

North Carolina State University
IN-47: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Jessica Bast
Sustainability Program Coordinator
University Sustainability Office
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
NC State Cooperative Tree Improvement Program

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

In 1956, the NC State University Cooperative Tree Improvement Program was founded to enhance the productivity and resilience of planted forests in the southern US. To achieve this goal, we follow a process of breeding, field testing, and selection. The very best trees are used as the parents of the next generation. These superior trees are intermated through control-pollination. This technique consists of transferring pollen from one tree to the receptive female reproductive organs of another tree, while excluding all other pollen through the use of a pollination bag. This ensures the resulting progeny receive genes from each of two known parent trees.

The progeny are tested across numerous field sites using a rigorous experimental design. Superior individuals are identified based on productivity, stem form and disease resistance. These elite individuals are grafted into breeding orchards, and a new cycle ensues, thereby producing the next generation of improved material. Some of the Program's achievements include: $50-$300 per acre net present value by simply planting the best genotypes. That is an estimated $1.9 billion to landowners in the Southeast US.

1170 tons of improved pine seed produced by Cooperative members, enough seed to plant over 28 billion seedlings over the last 63 years

950+ scientific articles published

Over 17 million acres reforested with genetically improved seedlings from Cooperative members

60% of the regeneration in the southern US is from genetically improved loblolly pine originating from the NCSU Tree Improvement Program

246 professionals graduated from NCSU via the Cooperative


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
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The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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