Niederhof Forestry Center
Niederhof Forestry Center (NFC) is located on a 1,593-acre tract of land that the SCFC purchased on December 1, 1983. Originally part of the Hoover Plantation, a 3,950-acre plantation north of Tillman, SC, Niederhof was acquired to establish second-generation seed orchards and to provide areas for future advanced-generation orchards. The facility was named for Cam Niederhof, a Westvaco executive, who served as a SCFC Commissioner for 24 years. NFC is located in an area of the state that is well known for good seed production and minimal frost and ice damage.
Currently the SCFC manages the property for multiple uses, including tree improvement related activities, 2nd and 3rd generation loblolly pine seed orchards, longleaf seed orchard, demonstration plantings, timber production, wildlife food plots, and hunting. The map highlights the areas within the property that are related to the tree improvement program. Aiming to increase our seed production and optimize the use of land inside NFC for progeny testing, some recommendations of other uses were presented for the cited fields and will be updated in this page over time.
Niederhof Forestry Center attempts to operate solely based upon revenues generated through cone/seed sales and funding from research agreements. Currently, NFC is staffed by a full-time Seed Orchard Manager Chris King and a Tree Improvement Specialist Carla Castro, with additional assistance as needed by Coastal Region staff with seed orchard establishment and management. For more information you can contact the NFC office at (843) 726-3845. A Forestry Technician I is assigned to NFC as part of his work duties when scheduled on-call on normal workdays.
Description of areas related to Tree Improvement within NFC
1) Old progeny tests.
2) Field adequate for the establishment of the shortleaf orchard.
3) Old breeding orchards/ clone banks and GV-BV progeny test.
4) 14-year old Longleaf pine stand.
5) Second generation Coastal loblolly pine seed orchard comprised of the top four selection within the original composition. Rogued out 2/3 of the trees to keep the best selections for cone/seed sales in March of 2021.
6) Former second-generation Coastal loblolly orchard harvested in 2015 and second-generation loblolly orchard harvested in March 2021.
7) Third Cycle Coastal loblolly pine orchard. We rogued four selections from the 3rd generation Coastal orchard, increasing space from 48 trees/acre to 36 trees/acre.
8) Open field adequate for the establishment of the new orchard.
9) Surplus test longleaf.
10) 1.5 generation Longleaf orchard.
11) 14-year-old longleaf stand.
12) Third cycle Piedmont loblolly orchard. We rogued five selections from the orchard increasing space from 48 trees/acre to 36 trees/acre.
13, 14, and 15) Harvested second-generation Piedmont loblolly orchard site.
16) Demonstration plantings.
The best selections planted in our seed orchards at the Niederhof Forestry Center are transferred to the ArborGen Taylor nursery, where seedlings are produced and distributed to South Carolina landowners. The chart below demonstrates the productivity of the selections present in the 3rd cycle loblolly pine orchards. The families AG-88 and AG-757 are featured because they are the best selections in productivity and are available for sale at Taylor Nursery.
Productivity Ranking of SCFC Loblolly Pine Selections
Below are the PRS sheets for our loblolly pine selections available for sale in the 2021-2022. For more information about our seedlings, access the Seedling page. Besides, when shopping for loblolly seedlings, remember to always ask for a PRS sheet for each selection you are considering and be sure to specify the commercial check that is used on the PRS sheet.