Non timber forest products

Michael Hagen mhagen at
Wed Feb 5 21:52:16 EST 1997

Don Staples wrote:
> Twenty years ago we were in a project for the US Health Service where we collected stems
> from specific species of plants throughout the eastern portion of Texas.  Many were
> shrub species that would not meet the minimum length and diameter specified, so we ended
> up sending bundles of stems to meet the weight requirements.  Apparently the request had
> gone out to all states of the union.  They were looking for bio-active extracts from the
> plants.
> Out of this real basic research came Taxol (I beleave this is the correct spelling) used
> in the treatment of breast cancer and other soft tissue cancers.  There was quite a to
> do about the loss of the Pacific Yew that was used to produce this extract, I now think
> they have a synthetic version.
> You never know what your burning, or herbiciding.

	I didn't know that there was Taxus in Texas (sorry  ;-).  Stripping yew
trees was a big fiasco here on the Olympic Peninsula. Yew logs were
commonly slashed and burned with the other 'cull' debris after a
clearcut. The wood is truly handsome but because of the small piece
size, extreme slope of grain and a tendency to warp, it was used only by
hand craftsmen. So it was worthless to the big owners. 
	I still have some rough cut slabs aging in my woodshed.
Mike Hagen

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