WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Industries associated with hardwood growth and production may benefit from trademarked varieties of faster growing trees developed through a partnership between Purdue University and the U.S. Forest Service.
Created in 1998, the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC) is developing several varieties of trees under the Greatwoods™ name. Greatwoods varieties include black cherry, black walnut, red oak and white oak that have been developed by selective breeding. The center has a staff of 60, including 25 Purdue graduate students.
Charles H. Michler, HTIRC director and a Purdue adjunct professor of forestry, and his colleagues breed trees for specific traits to increase planting and production in Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Agriculture reports on its website that hardwood products have a state economic impact of more than a $16 billion annually, supporting 35,000 jobs in the industry and more than 80,000 others in economic sectors that support the industry.