[NAFEX] Killing Trees

mIEKAL aND dtv at mwt.net
Mon Jul 8 17:03:03 EDT 2002

My original reason for bringing up the bush cherry thread is that Im quite curious about
listmember's experiences & experiments with trying to grow out & select improved varieties of
some of the plants that have not had a lot of work done with them.  My visit's to Phil Rutter's
Badgersett Farms last month was eye-opening to the madness with a method techniques that Phil
has been working toward for more than 20 years.  His motivation of course is that he wants to
create a commercial hazelnut for the midwest, so somewhere in his picture Im sure there is an
economic incentive, but really he (& many like him) are doing free R & D that is benefitting all
of us.  & of course visiting Phil one of the first things out of his mouth is he proudly talks
about how many trees he's killed to get to the point he is at.  There is no question that the
kind of trials he is running are essential, but what Im wondering is if, this kind of activity
is useful to the overall cause, on a much much smaller manageable scale?  If for instance I
start growing out nankings & selecting for the desirable fruiting traits & disease resistence,
growing out a few lines is there really any chance of coming up with a better nanking cherry?
Or is this the province of tissue culture & university breeding programs?


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