Genetically Engineered Forests and Wood
I just read an interesting article on genetically engineered forests. Maybe some of you have heard of this and maybe some of you have not. Basically this is beyond grafting a few similar trees to make new trees, but genetically altering them so the good traits of one tree species are added so that a whole new tree is created.
I must be pretty dumb because it took me reading half the article before I realized I have, and have been growing, twelve acres of these Genetically Engineered trees for the last 15 years.
The article comes from the environmentalist side and feels these trees will invade the eco system and native forest and ruin them. I disagree as the GE trees I have, just won't grow anywhere but in a plantation onto their own. They just can't survive in a native forests, but excell at growing in former pasture and crop ground. In fact I planted my tress in 1994 and was told to harvest them this year by a forester. They are 10 inches in diameter and 50 feet hight which is pretty good growth for a tree.
The trees I have are Japanese Larch and have some unique properties. They grow fast and have the life-span equivalent of pressure treated wood without the nature preservative. Most are used to make wooden flooring in peoples homes, as well as posts and framing lumber to replace pressure-treated wood.
So my question is, as woodworkers how would you feel about using GE trees in your workshop?
My take is, no matter if I am using them for framing lumber, flooring or even to sell to the paper companies to make paper, I have grown 320 cords of wood in 13 years that never existed before.
Here is a link to that GE newspaper article for those that are interested...
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"