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Genetically Improved Eucalypts for Novel Applications and Sites in Florida

Genetic, silvicultural, and propagation improvements collectively can increase the productivity of Eucalyptus grandis (EG) and E. amplifolia (EA) grown for mulchwood, energywood, flooring, and other products on agricultural, forest, and non-traditional sites such as reclaimed mined and contaminated lands in Florida and similar areas. EG has been grown commercially in southern Florida since the 1960s, initially for pulpwood and now for mulchwood from some 6,000 ha of plantations on flatwoods in the LaBelle-Palmdale area. EG’s commercialization was and is facilitated by multi-agency research resulting in some 3,200 EG accessions, over 300 maintained clones, 4th-generation clonal and seedling seed orchards, a 5th-generation seedling seed orchard, and a genetic test base exceeding 50 studies involving over 1,000 o-p progenies, 40 control-pollinated progenies, 300 clones, and 30 hybrids. Development of EA, suitable for more temperate climates with more frequent and severe freezes, has been less intensive but has followed a similar genetic improvement strategy, with genetic tests in FL, GA, and LA now numbering 20 and including more than 300 accessions, 25 seed orchard o-p progenies, and 50 clones.

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Author(s): Donald L. Rockwood, Gary F. Peter, M. H. Langholtz

Publication: Tree Improvement and Genetics - Southern Forest Tree Improvement Conference - 2005