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Genetics in Wood Quality Improvement

In this paper I shall attempt to emphasize benefits derived from a genetically oriented forest management program through improving the quality of wood produced. Other speakers have stressed improvement of yields of wood per acre but have not been primarily concerned with the anatomical characteristics of the wood or the overall benefits that can be gained from the control of the wood quality. Benefits gained through improvement of wood quality are not of a type that can be credited back to forest management in the same manner as can an increase in yield. Evaluation of benefits to be gained from wood quality improvement is based on higher value of the end product. Final evaluation of benefits must be made by mill technologists and chemists rather than by foresters; thus, the responsibility of determining the direction and kind of wood quality improvement must be shared both by those who grow the trees and by those who convert them into the final product.

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Author(s): Robert L. McElwee

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 1963