It was established in 1969. However, some work of tree improvement was earlier carried out by the Silviculture Branch. It consists of one Forest Geneticist, one Assistant Forest Geneticist, one Assistant Silviculturist, one Technical Assistant and four Field Assistants/Foresters. It is responsible for research in the following areas:
- Determination of suitability of tree species/provenances/progenies for different ecological regions.
- Clonal/varietal trials of fast growing tree species.
- Introduction of exotic tree species.
- Collection of better quality seed from plus trees and stands and its distribution to Provincial Forest Departments and other organizations.
- Studies on tree seed collection, testing and storage conditions.
- Teaching Forest Genetics to the M.Sc. and B.Sc. forestry classes.
- Genetic variation in blue pine (Pinus wallichiana): The species has been differentiated into 2 ecotypes viz. P. wallichiana var. wallichiana and P. wallichiana var. karakorama. Its seed zones have also been identified which has a great applications in afforestation programmes.
- Considering the importance of Eucalyptus in Pakistan, more than one hundred species/seed sources of the species were tested both under irrigated and non-irrigated conditions of Pakistan. A number of promising provenances of E. camaldulensis and other species from Australia were found to be suitable for afforestation in these areas.
- Work was done on introduction of poplar clones of Populus deltoides. The ST-66 and 67 clones from Texas showed five times higher volume than indigenous poplars. Some clones are even better than a commonly cultivated poplar cultivar, CVI-214. A mixture of clones of P. deltoides have been released after testing these at 12 sites (as north as Hunza and as south as Hyderabad) in Pakistan.
- Considering the importance of fuelwood and fodder especially in the low rainfall areas of Pakistan, some exotics like Acacia tortilis, A. albida, Prosopis pallida, Prosopis chilensis have been found to be suitable under arid and semi-arid conditions.
- Sties on genotype-environment interaction have shown site specificity for some species. Comparing the growth of different species, suitable species have been identified for certain ecological zones of Pakistan e.g. a clone of Populus deltoides (AY-18) and a variety of Leucaena leucocephala which have been recommended for large scale planting in different parts of the country.
Different studies on genetic variation of Pinus roxburghii, Dalbergia sissoo, Acacia nilotica, Eucalyptus camaldulensis, seed stands have been established to produce quality seed for afforestation programmes.
Seed is regularly collected from superior trees and stands in large quantities and supplied to forest officers, farmers, etc. every year.