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.

Purdue Forestry Farm Named for Former Senator Richard G. Lugar

Richard LugarPurdue's forestry and natural resources farm has been renamed the Richard G. Lugar Forestry Farm. The 175-acre forestry farm promotes production of improved hardwoods to benefit Indiana's forest products industry. In addition, students use the farm's resources for their research, and the farm is the site of numerous Extension programs. It operates primarily under the auspices of Purdue Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center, which Lugar helped to create. "Senator Lugar has a passion for trees, a passion for science and a passion for Purdue," said Forestry and Natural Resources head Rob Swihart. "It is an entirely fitting tribute to have the property that promotes forest science named in his honor." Senator Lugar visited the campus on November 11 for the dedication ceremony, and later gave a talk on global food security.

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Study: Fungus behind deadly disease
in walnut trees mutates easily, complicating control


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Researchers from Purdue and Colorado State universities have discovered that the fungus responsible for thousand cankers disease, a lethal affliction of walnut trees and related species, has a rich genetic diversity that may make the disease more difficult to control.

Adjunct assistant professor of forestry Keith Woeste and fellow researchers analyzed the genes of 209 samples of Geosmithia morbida from 17 regions of the U.S. to determine the genetic diversity of the fungus, its possible origin and how it spread throughout the West and to parts of the East.

The researchers identified 57 distinct haplotypes, or genetic races, among the samples, a curious finding for an organism that reproduces by cloning itself. The high diversity of Geosmithia morbida likely indicates that the fungus mutates readily, said Woeste, who is also a hardwood specialist with the U.S. Forest Service.

"The high mutability of this fungus means we can expect the unexpected," he said. "We can't count on the fungus' genes to be the same year after year, which certainly makes it harder to control. It will also be harder to breed trees resistant to this disease."

First reported in the early 1990s, thousand cankers disease is deadly to black walnut trees and their relatives, such as butternut and wingnut trees. Black walnut trees are prized for their dark, high-quality wood and play a valuable role in the forest ecosystem as a food source for wildlife.


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