Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center
The Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC) is a collaborative regional research, development and technology transfer effort between industry, university, private, state and federal entities to advance tree improvement of central hardwoods for increased forest productivity in hardwood restoration and reforestation programs.

No accident: Ancient walnut forests linked to languages, trade routes

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - If Persian walnut trees could talk, they might tell of the numerous traders who moved along the Silk Roads' thousands of miles over thousands of years, carrying among their valuable merchandise the seeds that would turn into the mighty walnut forests that are spread across Asia. Purdue University research shows that ancient languages match up with the genetic codes found in Persian walnut (Juglans regia) forests, suggesting that the stands of trees seen today may be remnants of the first planned afforestation known in the world. In a paper published in the journal PLoS One, Keith Woeste, a research geneticist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and a Purdue adjunct assistant professor of forestry, found that the evolution of language and spread of walnut forests overlapped over wide swaths of Asia over thousands of years. He believes as traders traversed the Silk Roads, connecting Eastern Europe and Africa with far-East Asia, they purposely planted walnut forests as a long-term agricultural investment.



Manfred Mielke has been appointed Director of HTIRC




Manfred Mielke has been appointed Director of HTIRC as Charles Michler recovers from health issues. Manfred has had a long and successful career as a Plant Pathologist for the USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Protection. He has cooperated with Northern Research Station, University scientists and HTIRC over the past 35 years on butternut canker, black cherry improvement, Thousand Cankers Disease, oak wilt, beech bark disease, sudden oak death and other native and introduced forest diseases. He was the long-time chair of the Walnut Council Protection Committee, past President of the National Walnut Council, and current President of the Wisconsin Chapter. He plans to continue the tradition of leadership by the Forest Service, University, and industry in the development of improved fine hardwoods and the restoration of threatened trees.



Department of Forestry and Natural Resources USDA Forest Service HTIRC Purdue University