Current Results and Future Aspects of Oak Tree Improvement

Hardwood tree improvement programs have always faced a considerable amount of adversity ranging from low prices, limited markets for intermediate size material, to the lack of funding from private and industrial sources. In addition, the divesture of lands traditionally owned by the forest industry and the subsequent reduction in research efforts have only added to the problems facing hardwood tree improvement. The progress in tree improvements efforts in the more rapid growing species such as, eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides Bartr.), sycamore (Platanus occidentalis L.) and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua L.) has been the greatest. The ability of a single hardwood species to grow well over a variety of sites has also hindered work on hardwood species. However, there is enough genetic information concerning a variety of hardwood species including various bottomland oak species to draw some inferences concerning recommendations for seed source movement, outlining plans for use of selected material and the steps needed to conserve the genetic progress made to date.

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Author(s): Randall J. Rousseau, Victor C. Steel

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 2007

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