Collecting seed at the hot, dry margins of a tree species’ natural range: do the progeny of these extreme trees have drought tolerance and water-use efficiency needed for restoration of harsh sites?

Trees growing in the hottest/driest parts of their natural range may be better-adapted to hot, dry conditions and hold promise for restoration and resistance to climate change. If drought tolerance and water-use efficiency were heritable genetic traits, we could select for these characteristics and raise seedlings for reforestation on marginal sites or in areas where adverse changes in climate were forecast. 3000 redwood seedlings originating from wet and dry locations were planted by HSU students in 2010 and 2011. The experiment provides insights into outcomes of reclamation and “assisted migration” forest conservation/restoration strategies and impact of climate change on redwood forests.