Trees are an incredible natural resource. They provide wildlife habitat, improve air quality, and of course, supply the raw materials for many vital industries. Toilet paper has recently had its moment in the spotlight, but forests support countless other products, from lumber for building homes to the cellulose used in our toothpaste.
To keep up with the demand for wood, landowners can maximize their stand productivity, growing more timber on less acreage. Scientists with the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation (SFRC) have spent more than half a century working to develop varieties of southern pine species that grow faster and have greater disease resistance.
Cooperative Forest Genetics Research Program (CFGRP) researchers use methods their predecessors never would have dreamt of, like DNA genomic analysis. “By using this advanced DNA technology, we can identify and select superior trees for breeding and accelerate the genetic improvement of commercial forests,” said Matias Kirst, SFRC professor and co-director of the CFGRP.Learn more about Managing Our Forests: Breeding a Superior Pine.