I have made reference in this BBS to the work done on NS at SUNY Syracuse a number of years ago under the direction of the then Dean of Research, Edwin White. They produced a series of 4 research studies, including the two I have mentioned here before, the growth curves study, and the site factors study. There were two others that I did not study so carefully. If memory serves me now, one was a volume growth study, comparing NS to red pine, and another on the form of the trunks.
Professor White, after those were completed, wrote an article touting all the merits of NS as a reforestation species. If any one is interested,
The College of Environmental Science and Forestry, would certainly, I believe, be happy to send anyone interested, a copy of all of these studies/articles.
One of the advantages of NS over some of the alternatives is the longer sustained growth of NS. But, because white pine is not a good choice in central NY because of the severe weevil problem, no comparisons were made to white pine.
One reason why NS is not planted in many areas where conifer plantings are done for reforestation, is the prejudice against "exotic" species. In MD it is not allowed in any cost-share reforestation project, except by special application, and then only up to 10%. But, NS is not "invasive," as Bob points out, although it does reproduce naturally in many areas.
And, as Joe points out, it is suitable for longer rotations with successive cutting cycles, minimizing the need for frequent costly replanting, as is required with red pine.
As for the wonderfully beautiful stand in the picture posted by Lucas--this IS stunningly beautiful. I believe with intensive management here in the US, in the most favorable locations and sites, and a suitable strain, something close to this is possible here. I worked with DR. John Genys, of the U of MD on a provenance trial, and had lengthy conversations with him about NS both here and in Europe--he was from Lithuania, and visited back frequently--and he strongly believed that NS could grow just as well here as in Europe, in the right climates , the best strains, and on the best sites.
I am very sorry that the stand near Glady, WV that I talked about in one of my posts quite some time ago, was cut. That stand was already stunning, even at an age of just slightly over 60 years, and was unthinned and unpruned. That stand should have been managed, and preserved as a seed source for more plantings. One of the best "markers" for a specific strain of NS is the cones, and those from trees in that stand were unlike any others I have seen anywhere. There may be information of the source for the seed used for that stand buried somewhere in the archives of the Forest Service. I believe the stand was planted as a part of the CCC reforestation projects, and I trust the records are still tucked away somewhere. I am a bit puzzled as to why this stand is of a different strain than any other I have seen. I understand that the bulk of the CCC NS plantings were done with seed from the Black forest in Germany. But this one was different.