Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center



(765) 496-6016 or


B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. (Horticulture) Ohio State University - specialties in Plant Physiology and Biochemistry
Plant physiologist with the USDA Forest Service since 1986
Project Leader since 1993

Research Interests:

  • woody plant tissue culture
  • genetic modification
  • hardwood tree genetics
  • herbicide resistance

As leader of the Center, Michler developed the HTIRC Strategic Plan after receiving input from consulting foresters, state foresters, state tree improvement specialists, university scientists, landowner associations, governmental and non-governmental agencies and extension personnel in the 11 state area that comprises the central hardwoods region in the Midwest United States. In addition, it received the endorsement of the HTIRC Advisory Committee (March, 2000) which includes membership from the stakeholder groups mentioned above as well as from the hardwood lumber industry.
All of the research, development and technology transfer objectives address regional issues and priorities, and in many cases address issues for hardwood regeneration in the Eastern United States. Specific elements that have regional application are:

1. Conventional tree improvement

  • Development of a research program for black walnut, black cherry, northern red oak and other hardwood species that will increase productivity through improvement of growth, form, wood quality, herbicide resistance and resistance to abiotic and biotic stressors.

2. Hardwood genomics, proteomics and biotechnologies

  • Development of genetic maps and molecular markers Identification of functional genes and determination of their function
  • Development of tissue culture and transgenic technologies

3. Propagation technologies, seed production and handling, and nursery management

  • Development clonal propagation technologies
  • Development advanced trellised seed orchards and seed handling technologies
  • Research and develop methods for production of high quality nursery seedling stock

4. Hardwood forest regeneration

  • Develop and test plantation establishment regimes for hardwoods
  • Develop best management practices for maintaining genetic quality and diversity of hardwood forests
  • Develop restoration techniques for high-graded hardwood stands

Selected publications



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