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Hybridization-Then and Now?

Technologies have a way of changing, if they remain important for human welfare and economic development. As new techniques and approaches are tried and adopted, old ones become outmoded. The outmoded approaches retain interest for the historically-minded, but occasionally they may be dusted off and put to use again - witness the dusted-off technology of wood-burning stoves. I believe it is fair to state that species hybridization has ceased, at least for the present, to be an important approach in tree improvement. Many of today's workers probably ask themselves: "What was all the fuss about species hybridization thirty and forty years ago?" As one of those tree-climbers of forty years ago, I recall the circumstances, compulsions, and rationales that shaped our programs. Some of these considerations are no longer relevant: others, I believe may warrant a renewal of interest in species hybridization on the part of tree improvement workers.

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Author(s): John W. Duffield

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 1981

Section: Keynote Address