The main aim of this paper was to characterize Norway spruce clones in terms of bud burst, flowering and morphological features. Observation and measurements were carried out in the Norway spruce seed orchard of the Bielsk Forest District in the north-eastern part of Poland. The seed orchard was established in 1989 and consists of 428 grafts of over 37 trees from the Białowieża Primeval Forest. An assessment of bud burst, stem forking, stem form, crown width, branch thickness, vitality, flowering and fructification as well as diameter measurements was done in 2013 and 2014. The results showed variability of morphological features among different clones as well as within individual clones. Differences among clones in spring bud development, stem form and branch thickness were statistically significant. Additionally, a positive correlation between male and female flowering was observed. The research also confirmed an influence of the healthiness of the grafts on seed production with trees in a weakened state producing more seeds.
Vegetative progeny were obtained from 46 elms (Ulmus glabra Huds.) by grafting. These grafted trees were planted in 2009 in a clone archive in forest plot 264j in the Bielsk Forest District.
After one year of growth, elm clone survival ranged from 38% to 100% (89% on average). Although all clones were of similar age and were grown under similar conditions, their average height was highly variable and ranged from 99.0 cm (clone no. 9473z) to 186.6 cm (clone no. 9645z), while average root collar diameter ranged from 8.4 mm (clone no. 9473z) to 18.0 mm (clone no. 9645z).
There were large differences crown architectural among the different clones, and variation in average shape of the crown was high (from 2.6 in clone no. 9655 to 3.8 in clone no. 9446z).
Index breeding values determined on the standardized data for height, root collar diameter, crown shape and survival, ranged from -0.71 (clone no. 9473z) to 0.61 (clone no. 9645z). Clones from Czerwony Dwór reached a better breeding value (0.17) than clones from Gołdap (-0.0266), and variation in their average breeding values was high (0.197).