MINNESOTA—Somewhere in their genetic makeup, trees may hold solutions to many of the pests and diseases besetting them, including the notorious and seemingly insatiable emerald ash borer. A workshop organized by the USDA Forest Service and partners brought over 100 tree genetic researchers and forest managers from around the world to Mt. Sterling, Ohio, Aug. 5–10 to discuss the challenges facing sustainability and expansion of healthy native, managed, and urban forests worldwide.
If you are old enough and grew up far enough away from Ohio, where Dutch elm disease was identified in the 1930s, you may remember a canopy of mature American elm arching above your street. Today that image exists only in photographs; Dutch elm disease long ago eliminated mature American elm from the city streets and northeastern forests of their native range.
The Port-Orford-cedar, a large evergreen tree, is native to the Pacific Northwest where it plays a significant role ecologically and commercially. The quality of its wood makes it an ideal choice for decking, siding, and flooring, and in specialty products such as wooden arrows and musical instruments. It is also planted around the world as an ornamental tree and for windbreaks.