local and entirely non-magical woodlands

truffler1635 at my-deja.com truffler1635 at my-deja.com
Thu Mar 30 13:28:40 EST 2000


In article <38E1F56F.1CDC at forest.net>,
holly at forest.net wrote:
> REVENGE OF THE FRANKENTREES.
> Leyland Cypress
>
Uh, no.

While Leyland Cypress may be a poor choice for other areas, there is a
strong argument to made for the area it was first developed for: i.e.
the Pacific Northwest between British Columbia and California.

The tree is a contrived hybrid which can either produce a shrubby,
thick, dense tree; or it can create a tall, rapid-growing timber tree
with remarkable characteristics.

Paul Bishop Sr. has been cultivating some of these trees at his Jones
Creek Tree Farm near Oregon City. The Leyland Cypress is a contrived
hybrid between Alaska Yellow cedar and Monterey Cypress. Both trees are
found in Oregon, and Paul's property lies between both. I have found
Monterey Cypress planted on the spit at Cape Lookout in Tillamook
County, at near sealevel. Alaska Yellow cedar is known from Mt. Hood, at
about 3500-4500 feet elevation. Thus it is unlikely that the two trees
would crossbreed in nature.

However, the tree form of this hybrid has unusual and rather unique
characteristics. 1. It appears to be mycorrhizal. 2. It grows rapidly,
faster than either of its parents as far as I can tell. 3. The wood is
stronger and lighter than Douglas fir, the predominant lumber tree of
the area. 4. It is largely impervious to rot. 5. It does not appear to
be affected by Douglas fir root rot (Fomes annosum).

It seems to me that small plantations would decrease pressure to harvest
timber on National Forest and BLM lands. Planted within other tree
stands, it could create even more diverse tree stands, while offering
significant cover for many animals.

Ergo, it does not qualify as a "FRANKENTREE" any more than any person
qualifies as a FRANKENSTEIN, being a natural hybrid of parents not
closely related (we hope!).

Unfortunately, the state of Oregon does not accept it as a timber tree
as yet. That makes it harder for tree farmers to keep tree cover on root
rot affected areas, while putting more pressure on them to harvest
existing trees.

Daniel B. Wheeler
www.oregonwhitetruffles.com


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