[NAFEX] Fruit trees for timber

Lucky Pittman lucky.pittman at murraystate.edu
Wed Mar 12 10:58:30 EST 2003

I can't comment from any specific personal experience, but some pears 
really grow like a bean pole - strong central leader type growth.  At one 
time, Ken Asmus at OIKOS Tree Crops in Kalamazoo had some seedling strains 
that he was pushing as a timber type, for lumber production at some time in 
the future.

There are some 'figured-grained' black walnut varieties(Lamb's Curly, 
Christoferson B-22, Pfister #1) that are available, if you've got any 
desire to try your hand at grafting walnuts.  Also, there's a 'Deming's 
Purple', a pigmented BW - I've not seen it, but suspect that the wood is 
pigmented.  Del Stubbs might be able to comment on whether or not that 
pigment is stable in cured lumber.

A number of the red-fleshed crab varieties have red/purple pigmented wood, 
but again, I don't know how how stable that pigmentation is.  You might be 
able to graft them onto standard rootstocks , plant at high stem densities, 
and do some pruning/training to encourage upright growth?

There have been some outfits in the recent past who've been pushing wild 
black cherry, P.serotina, as a timber tree, and marketing select seedlings 
grown from selected parents with good timber type and fast growth rates.

Lucky Pittman
USDA Zone 6
Hopkinsville, KY

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