Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
FIA Project Y073183

    Identification and propagation of novel value-added hardwood varieties
Project lead: Mattsson, Jim
Author: Mattsson, Jim
Imprint: Burnaby, B.C. : Simon Fraser University, 2007
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Hardwoods, British Columbia
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Forest Science Program
The purpose of this project is to promote the silviculture of particularly valuable hardwoods in BC. The specific objectives are: (1) to identify and propagate novel naturally occurring hardwood varieties with figured wood (2) To develop efficient propagation technology for hybrid aspen and the figured wood varieties commonly referred to as curly birch. Trees with figured wood varieties are rare and sold by quality or 'music wood' companies. Lumber and veneer of figured woods fetch up to 100 times more than corresponding non-figured wood. Fast-growing hybrid aspen produce fibers of superior quality to other poplar hybrids, but are under-utilized because of poor rooting of stem cuttings. Here we propose research to identify novel and valuable hardwood varieties for the BC plantation industry and also to apply micro propagation technology on known hardwood lines that are difficult to propagate by traditional methods. In the strategic plan used to set priorities for this funding program, the value-added traits described above relates directly to the 'Timber Growth and Value' program, as well as to the corresponding priority theme of 'tree growth and stand development'. As such, our proposed research is in line with the FSP’s strategic goal to 'improve knowledge-based science in support of improving timber growth and value.' There is a market for high-priced quality hardwoods, which Canada has little part of. To our knowledge, this will be the first Canadian attempt to collect and propagate material from naturally occurring trees with novel figures of wood in order to generate new value-added tree varieties. We are possibly also the only laboratory in Canada that is working on micro-propagation of figured hardwoods. This work may provide an entirely new and unique market for BC forestry, and a welcome diversification in face of increasing competition from countries such as Brazil and New Zealand. Mixed plantation forestry of valuable hardwoods may be one the most ecologically sound methods of increasing the value of land as well as the final lumber products, and may also be an esthetically preferred alternative to monocultures of conifers, especially when reverting agricultural land into forests.
Related projects:  FSP_Y051183FSP_Y062183


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Updated August 16, 2010 

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