mostly OT: genetically engineered trees

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Schroeder wrote:

I think I also mentioned I didn't think there was a real problem except perhaps in limited areas...

Correct, I think I said that "what work that is being done as far as I know is concentrated on pulp and lumber species"...
In the SE there's a lot of managed SYP being cut as framing lumber...while the same species as that from the 30's and earlier, it isn't the same material is my point.
Since can't afford Doug fir any more and it's been probably 10 years since I've seen a Doug fir tuba-anything and you're in the West where it's grown and the industry, is there any significant increase in the rate of growth and if so, can those effects be seen in the wood quality as compared to virgin growth?
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All trees begin the same, so the term"virgin" growth is misleading, implying, as the huggers would have you, that superiority arises only from being untouched by the evil hand of man. Makes no difference how the seed got there - hand of man, ass of bird - it grows as the nourishment and light allow. Growth rates are monitored, and conditions modified to produce "good enough" and much more of it over the leave it be system, in which less-desirable, but faster growing species can outstrip the sapling to the sun or starve it.
Same as oil - if we didn't demand so much, we wouldn't have to produce so much.
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George wrote:

Spare me the preaching, please...I have no such notion that there's anything except the difference in environment going on here. But, as you note, if you modify conditions, there's going to be a difference in growth rates and that has a discernible effect on growth patterns in the timber. I was simply asking if you have any data that shows the difference.

No argument there...
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

I've been working as a carpenter in CA.and AZ. for some 25 years, a lot of it in remodelling. while I can't offer you any kind of documentation, I can say that I see a dramatic difference in quality between the fir framing material I can buy today and the stuff I have pulled out of the walls of 100 year old houses. the old framing stuff is often better (tighter straighter grain) than the best kiln dried mondo expensive vertical grain doug fir trim material I can buy today.
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bridger wrote:

That certainly mirrors what I see w/ 100 yr old SYP and what I would <presume> would be true w/ other species such as Doug fir as well...
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The Doug Fir used to frame my almost 30 yr old house is now harder than the KD 8/4 red oak I buy today.
Driving screws means pilot holes, even for construction screws. Nails are best driven by an air nailer.
Too bad the ground moves so much...
Patriarch
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Schroeder wrote:

No, actually a bi-culture, effectively... :) (Just a joke, not for real)
Question since you're obviously on West Coast--
Is it still true they leave such a large number and size of "twigs" when cutting as they did? When on a tour w/ a Weyerhauser guy a (sizable) number of years ago, it seemed to be almost a matter of pride commenting on the size and number...
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Schroeder wrote:

Sounds Like a "BC" mix, or a general west coast mix. :-) Abbotsford by any chance?

That's five species though -- hardly the same mix that must have been removed. But I did not see the TFL's so I cannot but guess... Anyway -- replanting to the same diversity level might be a real challenge.
-- Will R. Jewel Boxes and Wood Art http://woodwork.pmccl.com The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it. George Bernard Shaw
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Schroeder wrote:

Sounds Like a "BC" mix, or a general west coast mix. :-) Abbotsford by any chance?

That's five species though -- hardly the same mix that must have been removed. But I did not see the TFL's so I cannot but guess... Anyway -- replanting to the same diversity level might be a real challenge.
While no expert on the forests of the west, I am pretty familiar with those of the Midwest, and adaptation in general. If you find more than a half-dozen varieties in an acre, it's a cinch that you've had a big terrain change, or succession hasn't caught up with the rest of the woods. The best-adapted grow, and shade or starve the others. Climax forest is anything but diverse, and a mix of five is not a bad approximation.
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bridger wrote:

Oh, yeah...I'd forgot about it. It's a servicable wood, nothing really outstanding imo.
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Put big light-darkening tents over the trees, some metal halides and get them used to an 18 hour day... works for chickens. Every four years, an extra growth-ring..(on the tree.. on the tree.. not the chickens) May not be cost-effective.
<G>
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Andy (in snipped-for-privacy@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups.com) said:
| I have to do a presentation on genetically modified trees for work, | and I'm wondering what woodworker's opinions are on GE or GM trees. | None have been released to the wild yet, but there are several being | studied. Faster growth rates and timber production in pines, | disease-resistant elms and chestnuts, etc. What do you think?
Andy...
[1] Fast growing. [2] Straight-grained rectangular trunk with growth "flats" parallel to one side. [3] Varieties of each species exhibiting distinct colors. [4] Virus, fungus, and bacteria resistant. [5] Repellant to pests. [6] Pitchless. [7] Varieties that produce cold light (splice firefly gene?). [8] Hardy in wide range of climatic conditions [9] Branches that burn hotter and slower than ash (but only after drying).
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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my only concern with "fast growing" trees would be the problems associated with wide grained fast-growth lumber. its not as strong, (and in my opinion doesn;t look as good).
on the other hand, all ofthe lumber out there now is fast-growth, so I'm not sure it woud really make a difference. I guess it would really depend on how fast it really is.
for those of us that do timber framing and post and beam work, the strength of the wood is very important. fast growth stuff is a lot weaker than old (slow) growth. All of the beam strength tables I have are from the late 1800s or early 1900s (maybe earlier). A lot of safety factor is engineered into the structures, but everything is based on those old numbers (which are mostly from slow-growth timber).... I don't know if anyone has updated the tables with any real research, but a major change in grain density would tend to move the models further from truth...
--JD
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Tropical species, like mahogany, often don't have annual growth rings at all. I wonder if one could genetically engineer species grown in the southeast US (and similar "rarely snows" climates) to not go dormant in the winter, and not produce growth rings. If one did, I wonder if the resulting wood would be stronger, weaker, or just boring to look at.
John
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Andy wrote:

I suggest that you look at your terms and define them narrowly. Most of the comments you have gotten are about, growth rates and selective breeding. Neither of these have anything to do with "genetically modified trees" or "genetically engineered trees." Those terms indicate introduction of genes that are not normally in a tree.
I am sure that some places have introduced genes that that make the trees more "bug" and disease resistant as has been done for corn. However, there is no way a woodworker would be able to tell that from looking at lumber.
How can a woodworker have an opinion on genetically altered trees, when he/she has no experience with the wood produced?
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