Kelsey Joyce- Tree Improvement Manager

My story behind our trees…


As the Forico Tree Improvement Manager; I manage the company’s tree breeding and deployment (seed production) programs and some other research projects.  We establish new genetic material in field trials, collect assessment data from the trials, have it analysed and then select the best trees for breeding or seed production.  My job is to provide the best possible genetic material for the company’s plantation establishment program.

It’s an ongoing family joke, that when we are driving past a company plantation, I’ll always say “they are my babies”, because I bred the trees and grow the seed orchards, that produced the seed, to establish the plantation. I take great pride in the quality of the trees we are now growing. 

I like my job because there is a wide variety of work and challenges that change with the seasons.  The job also has a good mix of office and outdoor work.  The actual favourite part of my job is working with large tree datasets to select the best trees or decide which trees to collect seed from.

Most work days start in the office managing projects, replying to emails etc.  Then I’ll get out of the office for a while to see what’s happening in an orchard or trial or check on a work crew. Later I’ll do some data management or reporting work or attend a meeting.

After Year 11 I did a Horticultural apprenticeship and work in wholesale and retail nurseries, before working for a forestry company.  Initially in the plantation unit, but after a couple of years switching to become a Forestry Research Technician.  Then I did a Forestry Diploma and a lot of in-house training and development to be get the skills and knowledge need to do my current role.

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