ALDER GENETIC IMPROVEMENT FOR THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOREST PRODUCTS INDUSTRY
Red alder is the predominant commercial hardwood species of the Pacific Northwest. It is an early successional species that rapidly regenerates following fire or clearcutting and normally precedes the establishment of the historically preferred Douglas-fir. As such, past conifer forestry management practices were designed to speed the transition to Douglas-fir through alder eradication efforts. Consequently, a shortage of quality alder logs has materialized throughout the Pacific Northwest Range at the same time it has become highly prized by the domestic and international hardwood furniture, cabinetry, and specialty product markets where it now commands a premium price. Red alder is also viewed quite favorably for its contribution to ecosystem function in forests along the west slope of the Cascade Mountain. Accordingly, it is now a preferred species among hardwood industries and small woodlot owners' associations for the regeneration of selected forest sites. Red alder possesses abundant genetic variation that constitutes a resource with which the species can be domesticated for high-yield plantation management to forestall the supply shortage of quality sawlogs. The project will develop improved alder planting stock by achieving four objectives: (1) Combined provenance-progeny testing leading to a site specific intra-specific selective breeding program, (2) Inter-specific hybridization with white alder to capture hybrid vigor, (3) Varietal selection and testing using softwood cutting propagation to exploit the full range of genetic variation in segregating populations, and (4) Mass multiplication using in vitro propagation techniques to allow for efficient commercial deployment of elite varieties. Anticipated results include: (1) Improved alder varieties capable of high yields, reduced risk of spring frost injury, increased site adaptability and improved wood quality and (2) A complete vegetative propagation system that allows for cost-efficient varietal testing and mass multiplication of elite selections. Our work will promote GreenWood Resources' efforts to develop an alder tree farm investment fund that will secure the Pacific Northwest's hardwood sawmilling industry.
Small Business Information at Submission:
GREENWOOD RESOURCES, INC.
1500 SW FIRST AVE STE 940 Portland, OR 97201
Number of Employees: