Larry Foster, Manager Alabama SuperTree Nursery in Selma, Alabama —
Without a doubt, one of the most important benefits for our customers in doing business with ArborGen is the people who provide the expertise in seedling selection and silviculture. Larry Foster, manager of the Alabama SuperTree Nursery in Selma, Alabama, is just one such expert.
Larry’s forestry education began at Southern Illinois University where he graduated with a bachelor’s of science in 1977 and his master’s degree in 1979, which included working on the economics of tree improvement in Black Walnut. Shortly after, Larry worked for a forestry consultant as a project forester out on the west coast. After four years of adventures in traditional forestry, Larry reached his goal of working in southern Pine tree improvement with International Paper at Georgetown, South Carolina, in 1983.
In 1987 Larry moved to Selma, Alabama, to manage the Riverdale and Burnsville seed orchards, which had been acquired by International Paper and, in 1991, he moved to a dual supervisor role in the nursery and seed orchard. Four years later he took over as manager of both facilities.
Today Larry manages the planting and lifting of more than 29 million seedlings each year as well as the sale of hardwoods and containerized seedlings. “After 35 years in forestry, including 30 years in nursery and tree improvement, I have seen lots of changes. The most important change is the benefit of advanced genetics that we can now offer our customers. We have moved from first generation with a volume growth gain of 10%, to MCP and Varietals with growth gains over 80%. Our customers now have access to the very best seedlings available, and they can make a much higher return on their land than was possible 30 years ago. I have been very fortunate in my career to work in the best and most exciting area of forestry.”
Larry is married to Traci and they have two sons aged 21 and 28. In his spare time Larry is active at Westwood Baptist Church and enjoys all outdoor activities including hunting, fishing and gardening.