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.



Douglass Jacobs has been
appointed Co-Director of HTIRC



As the HTIRC program has grown, so has the recognition that joint leadership from Purdue and the NRS offers the best hope for building on the Michler legacy.  Dr. Douglass Jacobs, Fred M. van Eck Professor of Forest Biology at Purdue, has agreed to serve as Co-director.  Doug will join Manfred Mielke as Co-director. Manfred has served as Acting Project Leader for the HTIRC research work unit of the NRS since April 13th. Working together, we are confident that Doug and Manfred will strengthen HTIRC in terms of its research and relevance. In Doug's new role, he will provide oversight for leadership of Tropical HTIRC, serve as Purdue's Site Director for NSF I/UCRC Center for Advanced Forestry Systems grant, coordinate with the Purdue Research Foundation on issues of intellectual property and licensing, and administer the Fred M. van Eck Scholarship program on behalf of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue.



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