The State Key Laboratory of Tree Genetics and Breeding (hereafter referred to as the Key Lab), the only state key laboratory in the forestry discipline in China, was approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China and was jointly established by the Chinese Academy of Forestry and Northeast Forestry University in October 2011. The Key Lab focuses on establishing a national and international leading role for research in contemporary molecular biology/biotechnology and genetic breeding of forest tree species to address important problems in forest sciences, including tree growth and development, biotic and abiotic stress tolerance, tree breeding, forest health, biofuels/bioenergy, conservation and ecophysiology. The Key Lab also has a mission on cultivating next generation leaders in science and education in areas of tree genetics and breeding.  

The Key Lab currently has 40 professors, 30 associate professors, 23 assistant professors, 9 post-doctoral research associates, and 359 graduate students (172 PhD and 187 MS candidates) working on subjects described above through 104 funded research projects. The Key Lab has a total of approximately 3,000 m2 of office space and 12,690 m2 of lab space including walk-in growth chambers and phytotrons, and is well-equipped with more than ¥ 90 million worth of shared instruments. The Key Lab also has over 20,460 m2 research fields and two experimental stations, the Maoershan Experimental Forest Farm and the Liangshui Experimental Forest Farm, covering a total area of approximately 2,600 ha. The members of the Key Lab have published over 350 papers, including many published in high impact journals, such as Science, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Communications, Nature Protocols, Proceeding of the National Academy of Science (USA), Plant Cell, PLoS Genetics, Plant Physiology, Plant Journal, etc. The members have also won 19 prestigious national awards and 46 national and international patents. 

Overall, the Key Lab is in a phase of significant growth and offers a stimulating and interdisciplinary research environment with long-term productivity-based founding supports.