National success is behind a new moniker for the tree genetics specialists.

Like any agribusiness, forestry relies on the best genetics to deliver superior crops now and in the future. For many years, the Southern Tree Breeding Association (STBA) has managed national tree improvement programs and supplied tree genetic evaluation services to Australia’s $23 billion forestry sector.

As of 1 July this year, the Association will change its name to Tree Breeding Australia (TBA). The decision was made at the recent 2018 AGM, where STBA members voted unanimously to form the new company and create a national tree breeding organisation, which will better reflect the geographically diverse nature of its membership base.

STBA has been driving improvements in radiata pine and blue gum genetics since 1983, driving national tree breeding programs and collecting and analysing data from its extensive genetic testing projects using its Treeplan system. This commercially vital information is made available to plantation growers, helping to select for traits that will cope best with regional and environmental conditions, while providing the best timber to market.

Dr Tony McRae, General Manager, STBA, said the group’s logical administrative evolution from a state-based association to a national entity will ensure the organisation continues to evolve, modernise and prepare for the future.

“The establishment of Tree Breeding Australia has been in the pipeline for several years, but we believe now is the time to proceed with the transition to the new entity,” McRae said.

“As the preeminent manager of Australian tree improvement programs and genetic evaluation services, the formation of TBA will help us improve our governance structures, better manage risk on behalf of our members, and more efficiently meet their current and future needs.

“Demand for timber is currently exceeding grower’s capacity to supply and it’s increasingly important for the industry to continue maximising the productivity of the existing estate. It is clear genetics will play a key role in achieving this,” he said.

STBA is based in Mount Gambier, South Australia. In recent years, it has expanded to service member companies and clients in Western Australia, South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, ACT, Tasmania and New Zealand, Asia and Europe.

The STBA continues to consolidate genetic resources developed over more than sixty years by private companies, State and Federal Governments to breed better genetics, more cost effectively and enhancing the return on investment across the industry.

For more, visit